Feeds

Third ex-NASA Ames worker jailed for child porn

Yes, third

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?