DOCUMENT: Crime

NASA HQ Raided In Kiddie Porn Probe

Feds: 'Skin tone filtering system' helped nab space agency executive

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NASA HQ Raided In Kiddie Porn Probe

MARCH 31--The Washington headquarters of NASA was raided this week as part of a kiddie porn probe targeting an executive with the space agency, The Smoking Gun has learned. On Wednesday morning, federal investigators seized a laptop computer, a hard drive, CDs, and other material from the office of James R. Robinson, who was present when agents with NASA's inspector general executed a search warrant at his E Street office. According to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court, Robinson, 42, used his office computer (and another in his Virginia home) to trade and examine illegal images and videos. An excerpt from the affidavit, sworn by agent Paul Danley, can be found below. Robinson, a program executive with NASA's In-Space Propulsion, Mission and Systems Management Division, was snared last year in an online operation run by postal inspectors. In correspondence with a series of undercover agents, he described his preferences as, 'probably priority right now would be boy-on-boy or boy-with-Man, and girl-on-girl. But really, anything is of interest.' Robinson, who has not been arrested, wrote that he was 'Not a cop,' and explained that he amassed his child porn collection via downloads 'via Kazaa and usegroups.' The affidavit also indicates that Robinson, who traded via a Yahoo! mail account using the alias 'Jim Saron,' trolled 'alt.chxld.mxlexter.com.' In December, after being contacted by postal agents, NASA's inspector general opened its own probe of Robinson, which included a review of reports from the space agency's 'web activity monitoring application.' The NASA system, dubbed Web ContExt, is apparently a state-of-the-art application that used a 'skin tone filtering system' to determine that Robinson was viewing child porn from his office computer, most recently in January, according to the affidavit. (10 pages)