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NASA Executive Target of Child Porn Probe

NASA Executive Target of Child Porn Probe
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Mar 31, 2006 1:30 PM PST    Text size: 
WASHINGTON — NASA headquarters was the scene of a raid this week, when federal investigators executed a warrant to search the office of a space agency executive accused of possessing child pornography.

James Robinson, 42, a program executive with NASA’s In-Space Propulsion, Mission and Systems Management Division, was present when agents raided his office. Agents confiscated a laptop computer, a hard drive, CDs and other material from Robinson’s office.

According to an affidavit filed by investigators in U.S. District Court, Robinson used his office computer and his home computer in Virginia to “trade and examine” illegal images and videos. The affidavit alleges that Robinson, who used a Yahoo! email account to trade the images, visited usegroup to find kiddie porn.

The federal investigation, which is headed up Special Agent Paul Danley of the NASA Inspectors General Office, began looking into Robinson a year earlier, when postal inspectors running an online operation, marked Robinson as a suspect.

According to postal inspectors, Robinson allegedly corresponded with undercover agents about his sexual preferences.

According to allegations in the affidavit, Robinson wrote, “priority right now would be boy-on-boy, boy-with-man and girl-on-girl. But really, anything is of interest.”

Robinson went on to write that he was “not a cop” and explained to undercover agents that his child porn collection had come from using various usegroups and Kazaa.

According to Danley, the NASA investigation used software designed by the space agency. The application, known as Web ContExt, short for web activity monitoring application, uses a skin-tone filtering system. That software helped investigators determine that Robinson was viewing child porn on his office computer.

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