The following story is a warning as to why centralized power is so dangerous. It doesn’t matter whether the power is political or corporate, overly centralized power in all forms must be resisted whenever it appears. The worst of all worlds is when centralized political and corporate power unite in an unholy alliance, which is what has happened to America in recent decades. When this occurs, the combined forces of oligarchy simply begin to rapaciously feast on the citizenry with zero accountability. This is a fair description of the United States in 2014.
Enter Timothy DeFoggi, the one-time cybersecurity director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who received several awards for his government “service” over the years. The self-proclaimed man of “many perversions,” frequented a child porn site called PedoBook where he “exchanged private messages with other members expressing interest in raping, beating and murdering infants and toddlers.”
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As the acting cybersecurity chief of a federal agency, Timothy DeFoggi should have been well versed in the digital footprints users leave behind online when they visit web sites and download images.
But DeFoggi—convicted today in Nebraska on three child porn charges including conspiracy to solicit and distribute child porn—must have believed his use of the Tor anonymizing network shielded him from federal investigators.
But DeFoggi’s conviction is perhaps more surprising than others owing to the fact that he worked at one time as the acting cybersecurity director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. DeFoggi worked for the department from 2008 until January this year. A department official told Business Insider that DeFoggi worked in the office of the assistant secretary for administration as lead IT specialist but a government budget document for the department from this year(.pdf) identifies a Tim DeFoggi as head of OS IT security operations, reporting to the department’s chief information security officer.
Although anyone could use the sites, registered users like DeFoggi—who was known online under the user names “fuckchrist” and “PTasseater”—could set up profile pages with an avatar, often child porn images, and personal information and upload files. The site archived more than 100 videos and more than 17,000 child porn and child erotica images, many of them depicting infants and toddlers being sexually abused by adults.
DeFoggi became part of that sting after becoming a registered member of PedoBook in March 2012 where he remained active until December that year when the FBI shuttered it. During this time DeFoggi, who described himself as “having many perversions,” solicited child porn images from other members, viewed images and exchanged private messages with other members expressing interest in raping, beating and murdering infants and toddlers.
DeFoggi received many commendations during his government career, according to an exhibit list created by the government for his trial. The list includes several certificates of award from the U.S. Treasury, a certificate of appreciation from the State Department for his work on a Hurricane Katrina task force, several documents related to computer courses he attended and certifications he received.