NASA exec's computer seized in child porn raid

Federal agents seized computer equipment from the desk of a NASA official March 29, based on information developed during a U.S. Postal Inspection Service undercover investigation of Internet trafficking in child pornography.

TheSmokingGun.com Web site has posted significant excerpts from an affidavit written to request a search warrant outlining much of the case against James R. Robinson, a GS-15 in NASA's In-Space Propulsion, Mission and Systems Management Division, based at NASA headquarters in Washington. The affidavit was written by a special agent in the NASA inspector general's office.

According to the affidavit, Robinson used both his home and office computers to store and trade numerous images of underage children engaged in a variety of sexual acts.

The USPIS learned of Robinson's use of his office computer from monitoring the IP addresses generating messages sent to undercover agents. The NASA special agent compared records provided by USPIS with logs of computer activity on Robinson's NASA account to confirm that he was on the NASA system at times corresponding to Robinson's activities in viewing and sending images. NASA also was able to capture the images themselves from an Internet filtering application on the NASA network that screens for flesh tones.

Based on the Internet activity, the IG's office obtained the search warrant and moved to seize Robinson's computer equipment.

The inspector general's spokeswoman said they would not comment on the affidavit.

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