- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 15, 2014
FBI director: Web monitoring, privacy can co-exist

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The government can fight computer crime without compromising Americans’ privacy rights, the head of the FBI said Tuesday, comparing government monitoring to a police department that stations an officer at a gang-infested park to make it safe for children and families once again.

FBI Director James Comey was in Milwaukee to visit local law enforcement officers as part of an effort to visit all 56 of the agency’s field offices. He met with reporters afterward, taking questions about FBI efforts to target violent crimes, stem the tide of heroin abuse and combat human trafficking.

He was also asked about cybersecurity issues, including the Target Corp. data breach and recent revealing of the Heartbleed glitch, which has caused major security concerns across the Internet. He was asked how the government balances fighting crime with respecting Americans’ liberty.

Comey said he rejected the idea that liberty and security can’t co-exist. He said security improves liberty by getting rid of people who would do harm, leaving more freedom for citizens who use the Internet for legitimate reasons.

The Internet is “where children play, it’s where our social lives are, it’s where our health care is, it’s where our money is. Everything is there - and so that’s where bad people come to get those things,” he said. “… The Internet is a dangerous neighborhood. We need to be there to patrol it. And by being there in a responsible, lawful, carefully overseen way, we can enhance both security and liberty.”

Comey declined to answer questions about the National Security Agency’s massive surveillance efforts revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, saying he was only in a position to discuss his own agency’s practices.

He said citizens are right to be skeptical of government power, and that he, himself, shares that skepticism. He said Americans should demand to know the details of government activities: Are communications being gathered legally? Were warrants obtained properly? Are the legal efforts part of a legitimate criminal investigation?

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Outdoor lovers reject swan hunt proposal

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Outdoor enthusiasts say they don’t want a tundra swan hunting season.

The Conservation Congress, a group of sportsmen that advises the Department of Natural Resources on policy, held its annual spring hearings across the state on Monday. Attendees answered nearly 60 questions asking for their positions on a number of possible proposals.

One question asked whether the attendee would support a tundra swan season. According to questionnaire results the DNR released Monday, 3,199 people voted no and 2,439 voted yes.

Attendees did approve plans to allow trolling statewide, lengthen the trout fishing season and consolidate hunting stamps into a single stamp and fishing stamps into a single stamp, however.

The results aren’t binding on the DNR but they do offer a way to gauge public support for potential moves.

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Outdoor lovers vote to ban baiting, feeding

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Outdoor enthusiasts say Wisconsin should ban deer baiting and feeding in the days leading up to the November gun season.

The Conservation Congress, a group of sportsmen that advise the Department of Natural Resources on policy, held its annual spring hearings across the state on Monday. Attendees answered nearly 60 questions asking for their positions on a number of proposals.

The results aren’t binding on the DNR but they do offer way to gauge public support for potential moves.

One question asked whether the state should ban deer baiting and feeding statewide 10 days before and during the 9-day November gun season.

Results the DNR released late Tuesday afternoon show 3,639 people voted yes and 2,180 voted no.

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UW students to design 3 of Capitol’s flowerbeds

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - University of Wisconsin Landscape Architecture students are competing to design the floral gardens that will be planted outside the Capitol this year.

The state Department of Administration said Tuesday that students are designing gardens for the south, east and west corner circles of Capitol Square.

The State Capitol and Executive Residence Board will pick up to three winning designs at its April 28 meeting. DOA says this is the first time students have played a role in designing the circle gardens.

Each student can submit up to three designs for the 24-foot circles. The north circle garden is a memorial for fallen law enforcement officers. Fifteen flowerbeds hold more than 25,000 plants on the Capitol’s 13.5-acre grounds each year.

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