Tag Archives: Child Pornography

Don’t Do This, You Gave NIMW It’s Start

.jpg photo of graphic of Google+ announcement of closing
Google announced that it will shut down the consumer version of Google+ following the discovery of a bug that it opted to keep secret.

Google+ to shut down following bug that
exposed 500K profiles

Google yesterday announced that it will shut down the consumer version of Google+ following the discovery of a bug that it opted to keep secret.

In a blog post, the search giant framed the decision as one that makes sense given that very few people actively use Google+—”90 percent of Google+ user sessions are less than five seconds,” writes Ben Smith, a Google Fellow and VP of Engineering—and it doesn’t warrant the work required to keep tabs on developers.

But as the Wall Street Journal reports, the move comes after Google discovered a bug that left private user information open to developers in March, but declined to alert users for fear of regulatory scrutiny.

“A memo reviewed by the Journal prepared by Google’s legal and policy staff and shared with senior executives warned that disclosing the incident would likely trigger ‘immediate regulatory interest’ and invite comparisons to Facebook’s leak of user information to data firm Cambridge Analytica,” the Journal says.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai reportedly knew about the plan to forego notification.

In the blog post, Smith says Google discovered the bug in March as part of Project Strobe—”a root-and-branch review of third-party developer access to Google account and Android device data and of our philosophy around apps’ data access.”

The bug, according to Google, meant that third-party apps had access to “profile fields that were shared with the user, but not marked as public,” like name, email address, occupation, gender, and age. Google+ posts, messages, Google account data, phone numbers, or G Suite content were not accessible.

“We found no evidence that any developer was aware of this bug, or abusing the API, and we found no evidence that any Profile data was misused,” Smith says.

The bug, which Google patched in March, affected about 500,000 Google+ users. Was yours one of those accounts?  Sorry, there’s no way to tell.

“We made Google+ with privacy in mind and therefore keep this API’s log data for only two weeks,” according to Smith.  “That means we cannot confirm which users were impacted by this bug.”

According to Smith, the vulnerability didn’t rise to the level of requiring a notification.  “Every year, we send millions of notifications to users about privacy and security bugs and issues.  Whenever user data may have been affected, we go beyond our legal requirements and apply several criteria focused on our users in determining whether to provide notice,” he says.

It remains to be seen if regulators agree.  Uber kept a 2016 data breach secret, and that just resulted in a $148 million fine.

The Google+ shutdown, meanwhile, will occur over the next 10 months, so get your fill before August 2019.  If you use the service for work, though, Google+ is not going anywhere.

“Our review showed that Google+ is better suited as an enterprise product where co-workers can engage in internal discussions on a secure corporate social network,” Smith says.  “Enterprise customers can set common access rules, and use central controls, for their entire organization.  We’ve decided to focus on our enterprise efforts and will be launching new features purpose-built for businesses.  We will share more information in the coming days.”

As part of the announcement, Google also promised to give users “more fine-grained control over what account data they choose to share with each app.”  If an app wants access to a Calendar and Drive documents, for example, you can opt to share one but not the other.

Google will also “limit the apps that may seek permission to access your consumer Gmail data,” while Google Play will limit which apps that can ask for a user’s phone (including call logs) and SMS data.

Former OR Youth Minister Draws Just Over 15 Years

.jpg photo of man who secretly video taped women and girls
Donald Courtney Biggs, 40, former Medford youth pastor who secretly videotaped women and girls.

Pedophile Preacher Left in Pile on Floor
After Victim’s Dad Catches Him
in Courtroom

A convicted pedophile from Oregon is making national news after the father of one of his victims punched the youth pastor who molested his child.

Former Medford youth pastor accused of
secretly videotaping women and girls

“Three-and-a-half years’ worth of emotions stirred in Kevin Patrick Smith,” CNN reported.

“The 45-year-old said he was sitting in the Medford, Oregon, federal courthouse on Wednesday for the sentencing hearing for Donald Courtney Biggs, 40, when he rushed Biggs and punched him.

“Biggs, a former youth pastor at Mountain Christian Fellowship, had pleaded guilty in February to one count of transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity with a minor, according to a news release from the US attorney’s office for Oregon.”

According to reports, the sentencing hearing was a long and testy one for the one-time youth pastor at the Medford, Oregon church.

First, victims’ statements were read, going on over two hours.  Then it came time for sealed statements in Biggs’ defense.

It was all too much for Smith.

“At that point, I just kind of snapped,” Smith told CNN.

“I charged across the courtroom.  He was sitting behind a desk.  I leaped over the desk and got a punch in on his face.”

An enraged parent getting a shot at a man who victimized a child can be a frightful sight.  Biggs was knocked to the ground, where he lay in the fetal position, according to the The Daily Wire.  He was later taken to a hospital.

“Full force, just like Superman, it looked like he flew through the air right into him and just punched him,” Jacob Elkin, a witness, told CNN.

Smith was charged with obstructing governmental or judicial administration, fourth-degree assault and second-degree disorderly conduct.  However, this being 2018, there’s already been a GoFundMe page set up for his assistance.

“Kevin smith is what I would like to call a heroic figure, a true man of justice, an outstanding man,” the page read.

“As of Sunday night, the page had raised $12,915, most of it coming in individual contributions of $125 or less,” CNN reported.  That number was up to almost $15,000 by early Tuesday afternoon.

One of the issues in the case was that even prosecutors thought justice wasn’t served.  This included Elkin, who set up the GoFundMe page and is also a relative of a victim.  He also used an image of Superman in the campaign, something with which I might begin to think DC Comics might not be terribly thrilled with.

Even though the investigation revealed multiple instances of inappropriate contact and recording devices used, Biggs was only charged with one count.

That still brought a pretty stiff sentence.

Biggs “was sentenced today to 188 months in federal prison for surreptitiously recording minor church members in various stages of undress while employed as a youth pastor at Mountain Christian Fellowship in Medford,” a statement from the United States’ Attorney’s Office District of Oregon read.

“This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.”

And, as it stands, Biggs is going to be spending a goodly chunk of his life behind bars. And on his way, he managed to make national news in the worst way possible.

TX Attorney General CEU Arrest Child Sex Offender

.jpg photo of Child Predator arrested for Child Pornography
Thomas Lee Scott, 58, of Lorena Texas.

AG Paxton’s Child Exploitation Unit Arrests
Lorena Man for Possession of Child Pornography

AUSTIN, TX  –  Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that the Child Exploitation Unit (CEU) of his office arrested Thomas Lee Scott, 58, of Lorena, on two counts of Possession of Child Pornography, a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison per charge.

Investigators discovered child pornography being shared from a device with an IP address connected to Scott’s home in Lorena.

While executing a search warrant at his home, investigators located child pornography and seized several digital storage devices that will be examined by the attorney general’s Digital Forensics Unit.

Scott, a registered sex offender, was convicted in 1991 of child molestation in Indiana.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office works to protect children by using the latest technology to track down some of the most profoundly evil predators online.

The CEU proactively seeks out and arrests predators who commit crimes against children using technology and online sources.

Attorney General Paxton urges all parents and teachers to become aware of the risks our children face on the internet and take steps to help ensure their children’s safety.

If you suspect someone is producing or downloading child pornography you can report it to NCMEC

For more information on cyber safety, please visit: https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/initiatives/cyber-safety/

CA Surgeon Solicited Victims for Decades

.jpg photo of Doctor accused of Child Sexual Abuse
James Kohut, 57, who allegedly wanted to create ‘sexual families’ to Abuse Children

Brain Surgeon Who Allegedly Wanted to Create ‘Sexual Families’ to Abuse Children Facing More Charges

Additional charges have been filed against a California brain surgeon who allegedly sexually abused several children and fantasized about creating “sexual families” by impregnating women and their daughters so he could then molest his offspring.

When he appeared last week for a bail hearing in a Santa Cruz court, James Kohut, 57, learned that he will now face an 36 additional counts after investigators discovered video evidence allegedly showing the doctor abusing two young boys and a little girl with his two co-defendants, reports The Mercury News.

Kohut was arrested in May along with Rashel Brandon, 42, and an Arizona woman, Emily Stephens, 29.  Both women, who were nurses, were charged with four counts of child sexual abuse, with Kohut originally facing 11.

Kohut could end up spending the rest of his life in prison if he is convicted on all 48 counts.  He has entered not guilty pleas for all.

According to KSBW, police recovered GoPro video that was recorded between Jan. 1 and May 9 that allegedly shows all three defendants having sex multiple times with a 3-year-old and 10-year-old boy.

A second video filmed at a motel between Jan. 1 and May 9 allegedly depicts a sexual act by the three defendants with the same 10-year-old boy.  Court documents list the footage as running longer than 50 minutes.

Plus, detectives found a cell phone video recorded between Jan. 1 and May 9 that allegedly depicts the defendants sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl.

Th new charges alleged the defendants abused 5 children in all: another girl and a child whose sex is being withheld.

All three are being held on $15 million bail, according to KCRA. Stephens faces 45 felonies and Brandon faces 44 felonies linked with molestation and have both pleaded not guilty.  Their lawyers were unavailable for comment Tuesday.

The charges against Kohut include alleged abuses authorities contend occurred in 2003, 2014, 2016 and 2017.  His lawyer could also not be reached.

Only Kohut is accused of lewd acts and rape of the 10-year-old boy. He is also charged with lewd acts on a fourth victim (a girl who was younger than 14) between 2003 and 2005 as well as a fifth victim in 2014.

‘Solicited Victims for Decades’

Prosecutors in court documents allege that, “for nearly 20 years,” the traveling surgeon with a current permanent address in Arkansas has displayed “a sexual compulsion, and has solicited victims for decades.”

“Like the crimes charged here,” the document alleges, “defendant was soliciting mothers to engage in sexual acts with children.”

Among the examples cited, the prosecution referred to a Vermont woman who said she had a relationship with Kohut from 1997 to 2000.  “During that relationship, he told her that he wanted to get her pregnant so she could have a child and they could be sexual with that child,” the document alleges.

The allegations continue: “He told her that he was most interested in children between the ages of 6 to 8.  He admitted that he had been in a relationship with a woman in Florida who had a 13-year-old and a 4-year-old child.  He admitted that he had sex in front of those children, and fondled the 13-year-old.  He would explain that he wanted a ‘sexual family.’  He would ask her to recruit friends for him, and he wanted her to call him ‘daddy.’”

Court documents obtained by PEOPLE allege a woman from Australia told investigators Kohut said in 2003 “that he was searching for a woman who he can impregnate, and will then ‘raise their children sexually.’  He then asked [the woman] if she would let him impregnate and raise their child sexually.”

“Defendant told her that if he had a daughter, he would want to impregnate her at the age of 10 and raise that child sexually as well. He also admitted to having sexual encounters with other children in the past.”

“Finally, he asked her to find him children.  He wanted her to volunteer as a homeless shelter or do babysitting jobs and find children that she would molest and he would then listen to them over the phone,” the document alleges.

Kohut allegedly had affairs with both Brandon and Stephens.

TX AG CEU Rounds Up Woodway Purveyor Of Child Porn

.jpg photo of Child Pornographer
Charles David Baker, 23, of Woodway Texas.

OAG’s Child Exploitation Unit Arrests McLennan County Man for Possession of Child Pornography

AUSTIN, TX  –  Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced today that the Child Exploitation Unit (CEU) of his office arrested 23-year-old Charles David Baker, of Woodway, on two counts of Possession of Child Pornography, a third-degree felony.  Baker could face up to 10 years in prison per charge if convicted.

Following a CyberTipline report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children involving the upload of an image of child pornography to an email account, CEU investigators executed a search warrant at Baker’s residence, where child pornography was found on his personal computer.

Investigators seized several additional digital storage devices that will be examined by the attorney general’s Digital Forensics Unit.

During an interview, Baker admitted the email account was his.

He was transported to the McLennan County Jail where he will appear before a magistrate.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office works to protect children by using the latest technology to track down some of the most profoundly evil predators online.

The CEU proactively seeks out and arrests predators who commit crimes against children using technology and online sources.

Attorney General Paxton urges all parents and teachers to become aware of the risks our children face on the internet and take steps to help ensure their children’s safety.

If you suspect someone of producing or downloading child pornography you can report it to NCMEC.

For more information on cyber safety, please visit: https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/initiatives/cyber-safety/