Wednesday, March 1, 2017

NY Sen. Schumer Asks FCC to Allow Probe Into Anti-Semitic Threats

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer (D) has formally asked the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to grant a Waiver that would allow investigators to unscramble the Anonymous Phone Numbers being used to call in Bomb Threats to Jewish Community Centers (JCC) across New York State and the U.S.

In his letter, Schumer requested that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai allow Law Enforcement to trace the anonymous calls, which are believed to be coming from internet-based phone systems that more easily enable the caller to disguise the phone number or make it seem like the call is coming from the location they are targeting.

That practice, called "Spoofing," is Illegal when the calls are placed via traditional phone lines, but there is no such prohibition on calls placed via internet phone services.

In his request, Schumer referenced a similar wave of calls last year to an Orange County School District that prompted former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to grant a Waiver to trace the calls and find the perpetrator.

"I believe the current circumstances requires that your agency pursues similar extensive investigatory measures," Schumer wrote. "In doing so, I urge you to coordinate your federal resources with local law enforcement across the nation to ensure they have the resources needed to thwart these attacks."

Since the beginning of 2017, there have been at least 100 threats made to at least 80 JCCs across the U.S.

On Monday there were calls to at least four in New York alone, in Staten Island, Tarrytown, New Rochelle and Plainview, L.I., according to officials and Center representatives.

Threats were phoned in to JCC's at least 10 other States the same day.

CNN, citing Law Enforcement sources, said it's believed many of the threatening calls came from overseas.

In addition, over the past week, dozens of headstones at Jewish Cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis were vandalized, and on Sunday, Residents in Miami Beach, Fla. reported finding swastikas carved onto their cars.

"Perpetrators terrorizing Jewish communities across the country, and here in New York, should not be allowed to hide in the shadows," Schumer told the Daily News.

"We cannot give these fear-mongering criminals protection when they are instilling hate and panic. All communities and entities target by intimidation and fear deserve access to all of the tools needed to ensure these criminals are brought to justice," he said.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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