Feeds

Third ex-NASA Ames worker jailed for child porn

Yes, third

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

A third former worker at the NASA Ames Research Center in California was sentenced Wednesday to federal prison for using a government computer to download child pornography.

Ernst John Rohde, 64, pleaded guilty in February to two counts of receiving materials relating to the sexual exploitation of minors while working at the Mountain View NASA base as a contract worker. Prosecutors said Rohde downloaded a "voluminous number" of child porn images and videos from his NASA-issued computer and from his home in Stockton, California.

Rohde estimated he accumulated "a million" images and media files of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct over the course of 6-10 years. He explained to prosecutors that he used a program which continuously searches the internet and downloads such files, according to court documents.

On May 22 and 23 2006, IT specialists at Ames were alerted to an internet connection searching for "pre-teen" and "13-17," originating from the account "jacks4" on research center's wireless network. The connection also searched newsgroups with similarly incriminating names. During the second day, IT workers triangulated the wireless signal to a location near Ames lodging buildings. The workers contacted Ames lodging and discovered Rohde was staying there during that time.

On July 26 and 27 2006, tech workers were again alerted to suspicious connections. The same "jacks4" account accessed similarly shady newsgroups to download images and additionally accessed the account jackroh@hotmail.com. A review of the data captured during the internet connections in May and July included 50 images of child pornography.

At a hearing in San Jose on Wednesday, a judge ordered Rohde to surrender January 30 to begin serving a five-year sentence. Afterwards, he will be put on supervised release for the rest of his life.

Bizarrely, Rohde isn't the first NASA Ames worker to serve prison time for using government computers to download child porn in recent years. Nor his he the second. In July, former Ames center engineer Christopher Burt Wiltsee was sentenced to five years in federal prison for possessing child pornography. In March, another ex-engineer, Mark Charles Zelinsky, was sentenced to three years in prison for child porn. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Home Office: Fancy flogging us some SECRET SPY GEAR?
If you do, tell NOBODY what it's for or how it works
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Syrian Electronic Army in news site 'hack' POP-UP MAYHEM
Gigya redirect exploit blamed for pop-rageous ploy
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.