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Old 3rd July 2019, 07:54 AM   #1
Childlike Empress
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Angry END Network Abuse Act

When I read about this on FARS News today, I thought that I had finally caught them in spreading Fake News. But it is all true (link to Bill).

END for some reason is a recursive acronym and stands for "End National Defense", so the whole act is named "End National Defense Network Abuse Act".

Bipartisan Bill Aims to Tackle Rampant Child Porn Sharing on Pentagon Computers

Originally Posted by FARS News
“The notion that the Department of Defense’s network and Pentagon-issued computers may be used to view, create, or circulate such horrifying images is a shameful disgrace, and one we must fight head on,” Abigail Spanberger (D-Virginia) said in a statement on Tuesday as she and co-sponsor Mark Meadows (R-N. Carolina) introduced the End National Defense Network Abuse (END Network Abuse) Act in the House, RT reported. [...]

Congress has known for at least a decade that child porn trading on Defense Department computers was a problem. Immigration and Customs Enforcement identified 5,200 people “subscribed to websites that were known to contain child pornography” during 2008’s Project Flicker investigation, including hundreds of individuals “affiliated with” the Defense Department, some of whom even used their government email addresses and military post boxes to register on the offending websites. Worryingly, dozens possessed some form of security clearance.

While a handful of the offenders caught in Project Flicker received jail sentences, thousands more – up to 80 percent of those identified in the ICE report – did not, as “combating child pornography was not one of DCIS’ investigative priorities”, Spanberger and Meadows lament.

This investigative blind spot leaves the Pentagon vulnerable to “blackmail, bribery, and other threats”, should employees with high security clearances become compromised through their weakness for child porn or other illicit activities conducted over Defense Department computers.

The Defense Department’s network ranked 19th out of 2,891 internet service providers for peer-to-peer trading of child porn in 2018, according to the National Criminal Justice Training Center, suggesting the problem has only gotten worse in the 10 years since Project Flicker wrapped up. [...]

Known for over a decade? 5200 people? No consequences for 80%? 19th ISP in the country (imagine how many must be larger than the DoD network)? Wait, what?
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Old 3rd July 2019, 08:00 AM   #2
carlitos
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Holy crap.

Link to 97 page DoD document on the original Project Flicker.

My guess is that this computer network ranks so high simply because it's a really big network? Again, just a guess. Perhaps it is disproportionately high in this type of activity, in which case - yuck. The security risks noted are manifold and serious. Steganography, trojan horses, bribery, malware, credit card fraud...
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Old 3rd July 2019, 08:43 AM   #3
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I feel like they used all their cleverness coming up with the name for the bill, and won't have any left to actually solve the problem.
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Old 3rd July 2019, 12:44 PM   #4
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The story seems a bit overblown on the role the government network played in the scandal. According to this congresswoman's website:

Quote:
In the course of a national investigation—titled Project Flicker, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement identified over 5,000 individuals who subscribed to child pornography websites, including several DoD-affiliated individuals. This discovery prompted an inquiry by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, which in turn identified hundreds of DoD-affiliated individuals as suspects in these child pornography cases. While only 20 percent of these individuals were investigated, of the cases investigated, several of the individuals were found to be using their government devices to download or share said pornographic material.
While there were over 5000 individuals who apparently subscribed to this one site, only a small number were related to the Defense Department. If you look at the 97-page document linked by Carlitos, that document apparently includes reports on all of the DoD personnel implicated. Given that each report is 3-4 pages long I'm guessing maybe 20 individuals were investigated, most of whom were essentially cleared and apparently a grand total of 2 people were charged with downloading child pornography and convicted. Thus, it is not like the DoD had some hotbed of kiddie porn trading.
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Old 3rd July 2019, 01:19 PM   #5
Childlike Empress
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That's the same congresswoman who introduced the bill (linked in the OP, which also includes the link carlitos posted). They don't talk about a single website. And if you look on page 2 of the PDF you cite, there are the numbers as follows: 264 people identified as "DoD-affiliated", 52 of them had 31 cases opened against them (I guess that's the 20% as opposed to 80% who had not), two of them went to jail for it with cases against 5 people pending at the time that report was released. And in point 9 it says, like the bill introducers say, that due to other priorities the investigation is "finished".

That's enough of a scandal but you seem to be correct that FARS News "overblew" it by making it seem as if all 5.200 people identified were using DoD computers and "thousands" went unpunished. Apparently we can't rule from the DoD report on Project Flicker what happened to the other almost 5.000 persons identified by ICE.

This was all ten years ago and given the 2018 number of the DoD network being on 19th place of all US ISPs it seems to be still going on.
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