The U.S. Marshals Service is using devices that mimic cellphone towers on airplanes to gather information from thousands of mobile phones on the ground, reports the Wall Street Journal in a Nov. 13 expose based on interviews with anonymous sources with close knowledge of the program.
For much of her career in government service, Miriam Nisbet has been on the cutting edge of the intersection of digital technology and the Freedom of Information Act. But more than 35 years after she began government service in 1978, Nisbet will leave her post as the government's top FOIA ombudsman at the end of November to take a break and pursue a career in the private sector.
Security clearance contractor USIS suffered another in a series of setbacks Monday when the Government Accountability Office partially upheld a bid protest that removes the company from a contract it was given by the Homeland Security Department. DHS had awarded a $210 million Field Office Support Services contract to USIS in July after the Office of Personnel Management said it wouldn't do business with the company anymore.
After years of refusing to tell people whether or not they were on the federal government's "no-fly list," the Justice Department Oct. 10 notified seven people of their status.
Twitter sued the Justice Department Oct. 7, saying it violated the social media company's First Amendment rights by restricting its ability to disclose details on the government's national security requests.
A former FBI special agent and his conspirator pled guilty Sept. 30 to participating in a bribery plan to obstruct a grand jury investigation in exchange for cash business contracts with a third person, who was under investigation. Robert Lustyik, a 24 year veteran of the FBI, pled guilty to conspiracy, wire fraud, obstructing a grand jury and obstructing an agency proceeding, an Oct. 1 Justice Department statement says.
The Bureau of Prisons isn't doing enough to reduce its costs related to salaries and benefits of its correctional officers, a Sept. 30 Government Accountability Office report says. But it's hands are tied by legislative inaction in some instances. BOP is responsible for the custody and care of 216,000 federal inmates. That's nine times more inmates than BOP had in 1980, the report says.
A former General Services Administration official at the center of the agency's Las Vegas conference spending scandal was indicted Thursday on charges that he submitted fraudulent reimbursement claims and made false statements, the Justice Department said in a Sept. 25 statement.
Attorney General Eric Holder will resign after serving more than five years a the nation's first African American attorney general. NPR first reported Thursday that Holder will step down as soon as his successor is confirmed. Holder has been adamant about leaving the Justice Department rather than be locked into serving for the rest of President Obama's term, the NPR story says.
A House committee Wednesday passed legislation that would make it easier for inspectors general to compel agencies to hand over information during investigations. The bill (H.R.5492) would allow inspectors general to write testimonial subpoenas for federal government contractors and former employees. That would strengthen the independence of inspectors general and allow them investigate agencies with less obstruction, a Sept. 17 statement from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee says.