Boston will get financial help to the tune of almost $8.4 million to help provide support to victims and first responders who were involved in the events surrounding the bombing in the city last year.
In announcing the grant, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that the grant will reaffirm the Department of Justice’s commitment to supporting the victims.
The funding, which will cover actual and anticipated costs, will go to organizations providing intervention and trauma-related care. Groups giving socioeconomic support and legal services will also benefit.
Three were killed and at least 264 were injured when two homemade bombs exploded near the finish line in April 2013. “This award will ensure that Boston and the state of Massachusetts can provide critical support to victims and their families as they work to restore a sense of normalcy to their lives,” a Justice Department press release said.
While Boston gets financial help, more news was released recently about the government surveillance that has rocked nations globally. A part of the report indicates the government surveillance programs couldn’t have stopped the Boston bombing.
A U.S. public policy group released a study that says a review of the terrorist arrests indicate that the bulk phone data sweep does little to prevent terrorism.
New America Foundation reviewed cases involving over 220 people recruited by al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups. The majority of cases were initiated with traditional techniques, such as informants and tips from local communities.
“Our investigation found that bulk collection of American phone metadata has had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism and only the most marginal of impacts on preventing terrorist-related activity, such as fundraising for a terrorist group,” Peter Bergen, director of the foundation’s national security program, said recently.
The NSA’s use of bulk phone records, which involve gathering numbers dialed and length of calls, is one of several programs exposed by Edward Snowden. The disclosures have generated demands both domestically and abroad for the government to stop the use of the program. The NSA, along with other government agencies, have utilized a variety of program, some concurrently, to gather data.
Boundless Informant is a system used by NSA to review global electronic information. During one thirty-day period in 2013, Boundless Informant gathered 14 billion data reports from Iran and 2.8 billion from within the U.S.
Bullrun is a highly classified NSA program which influences and weakens encryption stands by the interception of master encryption keys. With the keys, the agency is able to intercept, and read, data as it is sent.
Carnivore is a system used by the FBI which is designed to monitor electronic communications, including personal email. Software originally written by FBI developers has now been replaced by a commercially available program called NarusInsight.
DCSNet is the FBI surveillance program that can seamlessly perform wiretaps on any telecommunications device located anywhere in the United States.
Fairview is a similar program as DCSNet, but is targetted at foreign mobile phone users.
Financial Crimes Enforcement Network is a tool which the Treasury Department utilizes to collect and review financial transactions.
Magic Lantern, used by the FBI, logs key strokes. Sent into a target computer by email, the program acts like a Trojan horse and allows the agency to decrypt and read user communications as well as web surfing.
While Boston gets financial help for bombing victims, other groups will continue to monitor the government’s activities.
By Jerry Nelson