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Tag: child pornography

FBI Warns of Hackers Hijacking Zoom Streams with Videos Depicting Child Sexual Abuse

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI is warning Zoom users that hackers are hijacking virtual meetings with videos depicting child sexual abuse.

On Wednesday, the bureau said it has received nearly 200 reports of explicit pornography involving children being displayed on the screens of Zoom users.

“The FBI considers this activity to be a violent crime, as every time child sexual abuse material is viewed, the depicted child is re-victimized,” the FBI said in a news release. “Furthermore, anyone who inadvertently sees child sexual abuse material depicted during a virtual event is potentially a victim as well.”

The bureau is seeking the public’s help in identifying so-called “Zoom bombers.” The FBI is encouraging Zoom users to contact the bureau if they are subjected to any of these explicit videos.

To help safeguard against hackers, the bureau recommends requiring a meeting password and controlling who is allowed to view the broadcast.

To makes a report, call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or file an anonymous complaint online at tips.fbi.gov.

FBI Fires Analyst for Allegedly Possessing Child Pornography, But DOJ Declines to File Charges

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A supervisory intelligence analyst (SIA) for the FBI has been fired while an internal watchdog was investigating allegations that he had possessed and viewed child pornography, the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced Monday.

The OIG forensically examined the SIA’s personal and FBI-issued devices after he had revealed during “routine FBI security inquiry” that he had viewed and downloaded child pornography from the internet several years ago. During the examination, investigators discovered pornographic images, which were sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a routine step to determine whether photographs are child pornography.

No evidence of child pornography was found, but based on the analyst’s comments during the security review, the OIG concluded that the SIA had knowingly possessed child pornography.

The FBI fired the analyst while the investigation was ongoing.

The Justice Department declined to prosecute the analyst.

FBI Arrests TSA Agent Accused of Downloading Child Pornography for Years

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a 34-year-old TSA agent accused of downloading child pornography for years.

Curtis Fleming, who worked at Orlando International Airport, told authorities he had looked at child pornography since he was 14 years old, WFTV-9 reports.

The FBI said it tracked down Fleming from a file-sharing site and then traced the IP address to the home of his parents.

Fleming told agents he tried to curb his behavior but couldn’t, according to authorities.

One of the videos downloaded by Fleming allegedly depicted children as young as 3 years old getting raped.

Fleming faces up to 15 to 30 years behind bars.

Records Reveal Geek Squads’ Relationship with FBI Is Deeper Than Previously Reported

Best Buy, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The FBI has paid Best Buy’s Geek Squad employees to act as informants for a decade, much longer than previously reported.

Records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act by the Electronic Frontier Foundation reveal that the FBI has been working with Geek Squad employees since at least 2008. 

The FBI declined to say whether it has similar relationship with other electronics repair companies.

The records raise serious questions about whether the relationship between the bureau and Geek Squad employees violate the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures.

At issue is whether the FBI’s payments to the employees for turning over child pornography prompted Geek Squad workers to search computers beyond what was required to make repairs.

The bureau paid at least “eight FBI informants at Geek Squad City” between $500 and $1,000 each for helping disclose child pornography.

Judge Drops Child Pornography Case, Saying FBI Misrepresented Facts

Best Buy, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A judge dismissed child pornography charges against a California doctor whose computer was searched following a repair by Best Buy’s Geek Squad because the FBI agent made “several false or misleading statements or omissions... with reckless disregard for the truth” in a search warrant affidavit, The Washington Post reports

The pornography case was triggered by the Geek Squad’s discovery of a photo of a naked girl, believed to be 9 years old. She was not involved in a sex act, and her genitals were not shown.

Technicians tipped off the FBI.

But U.S.District Judge Cormac J. Carney said the FBI misrepresented the case in obtaining a search warrant for the home and computers of oncologist Mark Rettenmaier. Agents found hundreds of pornographic photos on his iPhone.

Carney concluded the search was illegal because FBI agents received the warrant by inaccurately saying “the image was child pornography.” The judge said the photo was “one image of child erotica” and that it “is simply not sufficient to search Dr. Rettenmaier’s entire home, the place where the protective court of the Fourth Amendment is most powerful.”

FBI: Florida Man Used Twitter to Send Child Pornography to News Anchor

Marchaun Browning

Marchaun Browning

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 20-year-old Florida man was arrested after the FBI said he used multiple Twitter accounts to send child pornography to a local news anchor.

Investigators said Marchaun Browning created new Twitter accounts when the news anchor blocked his tweets containing sexual images of children, ABC Action News reports

Using the IP addresses for each Twitter account, the FBI discovered the tweets originated at Browning’s Gibsonton, Fla. home.

A total of 163 child pornography images were found.

On Aug. 16, a grand jury indicted Browning with three counts of distributing child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

He was arrested Saturday.

Neighbor Hacked into College Students’ Wireless Account to Download Child Pornography

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Six years ago, FBI agents knocked on the door of three honor students at the University of California in Davis because the roommates’ AT&T wireless router was used to access child pornography.

“When it became pounding, I stumbled out to open the front door – to the complete and utter shock of having FBI agents on my front porch shoving a warrant in my face and suddenly appearing armed in my home,” Caitlin Fitzgerald wrote in a letter to the FBI two weeks ago, the Sacramento Bee reports. “Even thinking about it now, years later, my stomach starts to tighten.”

Turns out, the roommates’ 22-year-old neighbor was downloading child pornography by using “his great computer savvy” to hack into their password-protected wireless account, according to federal court records.

Today, the neighbor Alexander Nathan Norris is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court in Sacramento, where prosecutors are calling for a 17.5-year sentence on charges of possession and distribution of material involving the sexual exploitation of minors.

“This case is not a run-of-the mill child pornography case because the defendant hacked into and used his neighbors’ password-protected wireless internet to download and distribute child pornography, thereby roping innocent bystanders into his criminal activity,” Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Morris and Shelley Weger wrote in their sentencing memorandum to the judge.

“His actions caused the FBI to search his neighbors’ personal computers, cell phones, bedrooms and living space.”

Federal Judges Dismiss Cases After FBI Hosted Child Pornography Site

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s child pornography sting “Operation Pacifier” was successful at locating and identifying abusers, but it has come under attack by federal judges across the country.

Agents took over the “dark web” site, The Playpen, for two weeks, when 48,000 images and 200 videos of sexual abuse were posted or swapped. The FBI arrested more than 180 people in the U.S.

But the Knoxville New Sentinel reports that at least seven federal judges ruled that the FBI’s takeover of the site was illegal and violated federal rules of criminal procedure.

The judges cited constitutional violations.