Former acting HHS cybersecurity director convicted on child porn charges


File: FBI headquarters (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

A former acting director of cybersecurity at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was convicted on child pornography charges, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

Timothy DeFoggi, 56, was convicted of "engaging in a child exploitation enterprise, conspiracy to advertise and distribute child pornography, and accessing a computer with intent to view child pornography." His sentencing is scheduled for November.

DeFoggi is the sixth person to be convicted as part of an ongoing investigation into child pornography Web sites run by an administrator who has already been convicted, according to the press release. The case resulted from an investigation run out of the FBI's Omaha Field Office.

DeFoggi registered as member on the site in March of 2012 and retained his membership until December of that year when the Web site was taken down by the FBI, according to prosecutors. DeFoggi accessed child pornography through the site as well as solicited it from other members -- and exchanged private messages with other members where he expressed a desire to violently rape and murder children, according to the Department of Justice.

"DeFoggi even suggested meeting one member in person to fulfill their mutual fantasies to violently rape and murder children," according to the press release.

It's unclear exactly how the timeline of DeFoggi's criminal behavior overlapped with his employment at HHS. However, a Timothy DeFoggi is listed as the Chief Information Security Officer, or CISO, at Indian Health Services in materials advertising a 2010 cybersecurity conference. And a government document describing funding estimates for HHS in fiscal year 2014 includes a Tim DeFoggi -- described as the head of OS IT Security in an organization chart that shows him reporting directly to the agency's CISO.

 

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.
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