Posts on Jan 2018

Man charged after camera found in St. Charles County bathroom

He also admitted to placing a camera in a bathroom at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Troy, where he worked as a volunteer.

LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. – Police are investigating an invasion of privacy case in St. Charles County after a camera was found in the bathroom of a business Monday Jan. 15.

According to officials, the camera self-recorded Jeffery Eisenbath, 28, of Troy, installing it in the bathroom and recorded people as they entered it.

Eisenbath was taken into custody in Wentzville on Jan. 22.

Officers seized his household computer, memory drives and five covert cameras.

During an interview with police, Eisenbath admitted to installing the camera in the bathroom of The Adrenaline Zone in St. Charles, where he worked.

 

Statement from Adrenaline Zone Regarding Former Employee’s Recent Criminal Charges in St. Charles County

On behalf of the Adrenaline Zone family, we are deeply saddened by the news of the recent events and their potential negative impact on the community. If true, the alleged events in no way reflect the values and standards we expect among our staff.

He also admitted to placing a camera in a bathroom at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Troy, where he worked as a volunteer.

 

Anyone who visited the Adrenaline Zone between Jan. 8 and Jan. 15 should contact 636-949-3006.

“This is a case of an individual crime that affects many unsuspecting people,” said Sheriff John Cottle. “The Archdiocese of St. Louis has stringent background screenings of volunteers but it cannot always catch their secret habits. This is why law enforcement has cybercrime task forces in place, to catch individuals like Mr. Eisenbath.”

For some Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office employees, this is personal. Lt. Andy Binder said their kids attend Sacred Heart School.

“He used his demeanor and his stature in the community as a tool to get closer to kids and as a result he’s a full-blown pedophile,” Binder said.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis made a statement regarding his arrest:

The allegations against Mr. Jeffrey Eisenbath, if true, are a disturbing and unacceptable abuse of the trust we place in the employees and volunteers at our parishes and schools. We are cooperating fully with the authorities in their investigation and will communicate with those impacted as we continue to learn more about the allegations.

Eisenbath was charged in St. Charles County with felony invasion of property and was charged in Lincoln County with felony invasion of privacy and possession of child pornography. He is being held on a $125,000 cash-only bond.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with a child who may have been associated with Eisenbath in Lincoln County should contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 636-528-8546 extension 9999.

 

Author: Kayla Gaffney, Kiya Edwards
Source: KSDK

Assistant headmaster, 48, and ex-BBC producer who kept a secret hoard of half a million indecent images of children taken on hidden cameras is jailed for three years

  • Assistant head teacher David Allison had huge haul of indecent images of kids

  • Police found 635,902 indecent photos and 15,332 films on Allison’s computer

  • Many were taken on secret cameras hidden at the school where he worked

  • Admitted possessing indecent images of children and was jailed for three years

An assistant headmaster and former BBC producer amassed a secret hoard of more than half a million indecent images over 20 years.

David Allison, 48, of Ottershaw, Surrey, has now been jailed for three years after police raided his home and found the massive haul – some of which he had taken on secret cameras hidden around the school where he worked.

Officers found several devices containing images of children taken and recorded around the school, including images showing girls undressing.

Allison admitted four counts of making indecent photos of a child, one count of recording a private act and another of voyeurism by installing equipment.

Judge Robert Fraser was told that detectives are still trawling through the images as part of the fast-track prosecution of the teacher.

Disgraced Allison, who was hoping to become a headteacher, appeared at Guildford Crown Court on Friday afternoon, where the court heard he was the official photographer at the prestigious private Catholic school where he taught.

The 48-year-old paedophile, who had previously worked as an assistant producer in London and had experience on camera and as a newsreader, was told by a judge that it was both depressing and devastating that a man of his background had ended up in court.

Police found 635,902 indecent photos and 15,332 videos on Allison’s computer when they raided his home on November 29 last year.

The 48-year-old was found with 5,038 category A images – the worst level – 8,693 category B images, and 84,300 category C images.  

Search words including ‘pre-teen’, ‘hardcore’, and ‘lolly’ were also found on his computer. 

‘Recent access to a live stream website out of curiosity was when he felt he had crossed the line,’ said prosecutor Mr Harris. ‘He kept the images and movies on a single hard drive and one day said he would draw a line on it and put the disc through the shredder.’

 

“This man blatantly abused his position of trust, giving innocent pupils a false sense of security. He allowed them to believe they were safe from this sort of exploitation and deceived parents and work colleagues alike”

- Detective Inspector Martin Goodwin

Allison admitted three counts of making indecent images of children, one count of taking indecent images of children and two counts of voyeurism at an earlier hearing.

Defending him, Sarah Read said Allison fully understood that he needed to be punished.

‘He is deeply ashamed and disgusted in himself and is aware fully of the far-reaching impact on those that are affected,’ she said.

Sentencing him to three years in prison, Judge Fraser said he found it depressing and devastating that somebody of Allison’s background had ended up in court.

‘This is an extremely serious case, not just because of the sheer quantity, but also your position,’ he said.

Detective Inspector Martin Goodwin said after the sentencing: ‘These indecent images showed the girls’ underwear and had been taken without their knowledge.

‘In working with the school extensive work was carried out by detectives in order to identify victims and ensure that the children and their families could access any specialist support they needed.

‘This man blatantly abused his position of trust, giving innocent pupils a false sense of security. He allowed them to believe they were safe from this sort of exploitation and deceived parents and work colleagues alike.

‘We have now put a stop to his predatory behaviour and prevented him from continuing with his criminality.

‘The sentencing of this individual sends a message to those abusing a position of trust that you will be caught.

‘Whilst this won’t reverse what he has done, putting this man in prison will ensure his offending does not continue.’

Allison also received a lifetime Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and was placed on the Sex Offenders register for life.

Source: Daily Mail

Researchers propose novel solution to better secure voice over internet communication

Researchers at the  University of Alabama at Birmingham have developed a novel method to better protect Crypto Phones from eavesdropping and other forms of man-in-the-middle attacks.

Crypto Phones consist of smartphone apps, mobile devices, personal computer or web-based Voice over Internet Protocol applications that use end-to-end encryption to ensure that only the user and the person they are communicating with can read what is sent. In order to secure what is being communicated, Crypto Phones require users to perform authentication tasks.

“Research has shown that these tasks are prone to human errors, making these VoIP applications and devices highly vulnerable to man-in-the-middle and eavesdropping attacks, said Nitesh Saxena, Ph.D. associate professor in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences Department of Computer Science.  

In a paper published at the Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Computer and Communication Security in November, Saxena and Ph.D. student Maliheh Shirvanian introduce Closed Captioning Crypto Phones to address the issues in currently deployed Crypto Phones.

Nitesh Saxena, Ph.D.

To ensure that a man-in-the-middle attacker does not interfere with the transmission of the message, traditional Crypto Phones rely on the users to verbally communicate and match a key, called a checksum, that is displayed on each user’s device. The users must verify that the voice announcing the checksum is indeed the voice of the other user they wish to communicate with. Closed Captioning Crypto Phones fully automates checksum comparison.

“Closed Captioning Crypto Phones remove the human element from the checksum comparison process by utilizing speech transcription,” Saxena said.

When a user announces the checksum to the other person CCCP automatically transcribes the spoken code and performs a code or checksum comparison for the user. In an online experiment designed to mimic a real-life VoIP call, more than 1100 audio files containing 4-word and 8-word checksums spoken by a variety people CCCP eliminated the chances of the data being intercepted or captured via a man-in-the-middle attack due to human errors or clicking through the task and complete detection of mismatching checksums was made.

“Our work shows that by automating the checksum comparison verification, users are unburdened by only having to perform a single verification task, Saxena said. CCCP not only eliminates the human errors, but also facilitate use of longer checksums, which further strengthen the security. “This may also help increase the awareness of human users in detecting malicious voice imitation attempts by attackers.”

In a study analyzing the security and usability of user-centered code verification tasks, Saxena, Shirvanian and collaborator Jesvin James George, found that most end-to-end encryption code verification methods offer poor security and low user experience ratings. The study was published at the 2017 Annual Computer Security Applications Conference in December.

In a monitored lab setting, 25 participants were asked to perform and report the success or failure of QR, image and numeric code verification while using the internet-based communication applications, Telegram, WhatsApp, Viber and Signal in a close proximity setting and a remote setting. Security and usability security under remote verification settings was found to be significantly lower than in a close proximity code verification setting due to human errors.

Nitesh Saxena is the director of the Security and Privacy In Emerging computing and networking Systems lab.

Source: UAB News

Revealed – How Twitter ‘shadow bans’ users who never even realize: Engineers caught on camera ‘admitting they secretly censor people for posting content they disagree with’

  • James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, posted a series of videos of undercover reporters speaking to Twitter staff and former engineers

  • He claims they show Twitter censoring people with views they disagree with

  • Olinda Hassan, a policy manager for Twitter’s Trust and Safety team, was filmed  talking about development of a system for ‘down ranking’ ‘shi**y people’

  • Abhinov Vadrevu, an ex-Twitter software engineer, discussed ‘shadow banning’

  • Technique means that users’ content is quietly blocked without them ever knowing about it

  • One Twitter engineer suggested he social network was trying to ‘ban, like, a way of talking’ and ‘anyone found to be aggressive or negative ‘will just vanish’

  • Twitter has not yet commented on claims by staff and former employees

  • But they did respond to another video shot of senior network security engineer Clay Haynes

  • The clip showed him saying Twitter is ‘more than happy’ to help the Department of Justice ‘in their little investigation’ and would provide all Trump’s messages

  • Twitter denounced the ‘deceptive and underhanded tactics by which this footage was obtained and selectively edited’

A new undercover video from a group of conservative investigative journalists appears to show Twitter staff and former employees talking about how they censor content they disagree with – and without the user ever knowing.

James O’Keefe, Project Veritas founder, posted a video showing an undercover reporter speaking to Abhinov Vadrevu, a former Twitter software engineer, at a San Francisco restaurant on January 3.

There, he discussed a technique referred to as ‘shadow banning’, which means that users’ content is quietly blocked without them ever knowing about it. Their tweets would still appear to their followers, but it wouldn’t appear in search results or anywhere else on Twitter. 

‘One strategy is to shadow ban so you have ultimate control. The idea of a shadow ban is that you ban someone but they don’t know they’ve been banned, because they keep posting and no one sees their content. 

‘So they just think that no one is engaging with their content, when in reality, no one is seeing it.’

The tool was created to weed out fake bots and scammers but could be open to abuse.

Vadrevu admitted it was ‘risky’ because if people figure out they’ve been shadow banned they would be furious. 

He added that he wasn’t sure ‘if Twitter does this any more.’

Olinda Hassan, a policy manager for Twitter’s Trust and Safety team, was also filmed at a Twitter holiday party on December 15, talking about how the social network was developing an automated system for ‘down ranking’ ‘shi**y people’.

Another Twitter engineer claimed that staff already have tools to censor pro-Trump or conservative content. 

But it doesn’t stop there. One Twitter engineer appeared to suggest that the social network was trying to ‘ban, like, a way of talking.’ Anyone found to be aggressive or negative ‘will just vanish.’ 

‘Every single conversation is going to be rated by a machine and the machine is going to say whether or not it’s a positive thing or a negative thing,’ Twitter software engineer Steven Pierre was filmed on December 8 saying as he discussed the development of an automated censure system.   

‘And whether it’s positive or negative doesn’t (inaudible), it’s more like if somebody’s being aggressive or not. Right? Somebody’s just cursing at somebody, whatever, whatever. They may have point, but it will just vanish… It’s not going to ban the mindset, it’s going to ban, like, a way of talking.’

 

Ex-Twitter content review agent Mo Norai revealed last year that Twitter’s alleged left-leaning staff meant that conservative and pro-Trump content was subject to far harsher scrutiny than liberal posts.

He added that such decisions on content were never written down ‘but behind closed doors are lots of rules.’

‘A lot of unwritten rules, and being that we’re in San Francisco, we’re in California, very liberal, a very blue state,’ he explained to the undercover reporter on May 16, 2017. ‘You had to be… I mean as a company you can’t really say it because it would make you look bad, but behind closed doors are lots of rules.’

‘There was, I would say… Twitter was probably about 90% Anti-Trump, maybe 99% Anti-Trump.’ 

Another Project Veritas reporter tracked down Pranay Singh, a direct messaging engineer at Twitter, at a San Francisco bar on January 5.

He explained, while dancing, how shadow banning algorithms can work, and how the majority of users who are targeted are Republicans.

‘Yeah you look for Trump, or America, and you have like five thousand keywords to describe a redneck. Then you look and parse all the messages, all the pictures, and then you look for stuff that matches that stuff.’

Another investigation by Project Veritas also hinted at Twitter’s liberal bias after Twitter senior network security engineer Clay Haynes told an undercover reporter Twitter is ‘more than happy to help the Department of Justice in their little investigation’ by providing them with ‘every single tweet that [Trump] has posted, even the ones he’s deleted. Any direct messages, any mentions.’

Haynes described Trump as ‘dangerous’ and ‘a terrible human being and I want to get rid of him.’

In another meeting, at Morton’s Steakhouse in San Francisco on January 7, Haynes said that Twitter has the ability to disclose ‘every single message, every single tweet, whatever you log into, what profile pictures you upload.’

However, when O’Keefe – wearing a disguise – suggests that Haynes could look through Donald Trump and his son’s messages to ‘see what’s in there,’ Haynes made clear that Twitter would only do so as part of a legal process.

James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas

‘There’s a reason why we have a subpoena process’—meaning Twitter would only access that information if requested by law enforcement as part of an investigation after obtaining a subpoena,’ he said. 

A spokesperson for Twitter told International Business Times after the Haynes video 

‘The individual depicted in this video was speaking in a personal capacity and does not represent or speak for Twitter. Twitter only responds to valid legal requests, and does not share any user information with law enforcement without such a request.’

‘We deplore the deceptive and underhanded tactics by which this footage was obtained and selectively edited to fit a pre-determined narrative,’ Twitter’s spokesperson said. ‘Twitter is committed to enforcing our rules without bias and empowering every voice on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules.’  

DailyMail.com has reached out for comment on shadow banning. 

O’Keefe has just completed a book about this series of undercover videos entitled ‘MERICAN PRAVDA: My fight for Truth in the Era of Fake News, which is released on January 16.

Perth man jailed for installing hidden camera in childcare centre toilet

A Perth man who admitted he had been a “peeping Tom” since he was a child has been jailed for installing hidden cameras in a staff toilet at the childcare centre where he worked, and in his own bathroom.

Photo: A staff member found the camera on the same day Ker installed it in the bathroom.

In February last year Rodney Howard Ker, 51, was working as a groundsman at the Gowrie Early Childcare Education and Care Centre in Karawara when he hid a miniature video camera inside an adapted rat trap and placed it in the locked unisex toilet, before pressing the record button.

The District Court was told the device was found later the same day by another staff member who brought it to Ker’s attention.

He took the camera, removed the memory card which contained the footage, and took it home to delete its contents.

Three days later Ker was arrested and police discovered on his computer recordings of three people getting changed in the bathroom of his home.

Ker admitted that between 2014 and 2016 he installed a hidden camera to record people using the bathroom and shower.

In an interview with police said he had been a “peeping Tom” since he was a child and was aiming to record the victims in various state of undress.

Ker pleaded guilty to four charges of installing an optical device to record a private activity, and one count of wilfully destroying evidence.

Judge Michael Bowden said Ker had acknowledged his motive was for “sexual gratification” because he liked seeing naked flesh and found it “appealing” that people did not know he was recording them.

The court heard Ker had moved to Queensland since the offences, had sought private psychological counselling and had attended a self help group, Sexaholics Anonymous, to try to understand why he had done what he did.

Mr Bowden accepted that Ker had otherwise been a hardworking, highly thought of member of the community and that he was remorseful and embarrassed about his crimes.

However Mr Bowden said the offences were so serious an immediate term of imprisonment needed to be imposed to deter others from doing the same.

He sentenced Ker to nine months’ jail. He will have to serve half the term before he can be released.

Children never at risk, centre operator says

In a statement from the childcare centre operator, Gowrie WA, chairman Nick Wood said the bathroom where the camera was installed was used only by staff and children had no access to it at any time.

“The staff member involved in this incident was immediately dismissed from his employment with Gowrie WA and remains banned from going near any of our centres,” Mr Wood said.

“[He] was not directly connected in any way to the care of children, rather his position involved the provision of property services.”

Mr Wood said the company remained “deeply concerned” about the impact of the offences on any staff who may have been recorded, and said they had been offered counselling and ongoing support.

Mr Wood also pointed out that Ker, like all the company’s employees, had all necessary clearances, including a valid Working with Children Check.

“Our organisation has decades of experience in working with children and upholds best practice standards to ensure the highest levels of protection possible,” he said.

“Our paramount concern is the welfare of our staff and children in our care.”

By Joanna Menagh

Source: ABC.net – AU

Lebanese security agency turns smartphone into selfie spycam: researchers

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s intelligence service may have turned the smartphones of thousands of targeted individuals into cyber-spying machines in one of the first known examples of large-scale state hacking of phones rather than computers, researchers say.

Lebanon’s General Directorate of General Security (GDGS) has run more than 10 campaigns since at least 2012 aimed mainly at Android phone users in at least 21 countries, according to a report by mobile security firm Lookout and digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

The cyber attacks, which seized control of Android smartphones, allowed the hackers to turn them into victim-monitoring devices and steal any data from them undetected, the researchers said on Thursday. No evidence was found that Apple (AAPL.O) phone users were targeted, something that may simply reflect the popularity of Android in the Middle East.

The state-backed hackers, dubbed “Dark Caracal” by the report’s authors – after a wild cat native to the Middle East – used phishing attacks and other tricks to lure victims into downloading fake versions of encrypted messaging apps, giving the attackers full control over the devices of unwitting users.

Michael Flossman, the group’s lead security researcher, told Reuters that EFF and Lookout took advantage of the Lebanon cyber spying group’s failure to secure their own command and control servers, creating an opening to connect them back to the GDGS.

“Looking at the servers, who had registered it when, in conjunction with being able to identify the stolen content of victims: That gave us a pretty good indication of how long they had been operating,” Flossman said in a phone interview.

Dark Caracal has focused their attacks on government officials, military targets, utilities, financial institutions, manufacturing companies, and defense contractors, according to the report.

The researchers found technical evidence linking servers used to control the attacks to a GDGS office in Beirut by locating wi-fi networks and internet protocol address in or near the building. They cannot say for sure whether the evidence proves GDGS is responsible or is the work of a rogue employee.

The malware, once installed, could do things like remotely take photos with front or back camera and silently activate the phone’s microphone to record conservations, researchers said.

Responding to a question from Reuters about the claims made in the report, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, director general of GDGS, said he wanted to see the report before commenting on its contents. He added: “General Security does not have these type of capabilities. We wish we had these capabilities.”

Ibrahim was speaking ahead of the report’s publication.

Source: Reuters

Oklahoma politicians stunned by discovery of possible spying

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A Republican lawmaker’s discovery of a magnetic box containing a high-tech tracking device affixed to the bottom of his truck is being investigated by Oklahoma officials, who also revealed that four other GOP legislators have reported concerns they were being followed.

The mysterious discovery has stunned Oklahoma’s political class, and raised questions about who would spy on lawmakers.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater described the tactics as “foolish” and potentially criminal. He vowed an aggressive prosecution if evidence suggests someone was trying to intimidate Rep. Mark McBride, who found the device on his truck.

McBride says he found the experience “unsettling” and believes it is connected to his legislative work.

Prater says four other GOP legislators approached him last year with concerns that they were being followed.

Former CIA officer arrested on Espionage Act charge

Jerry Chun Shing Lee had long been suspected of helping China neutralize US spying operations.

A former Central Intelligence Agency officer long suspected of helping China neutralize U.S. spying operations on its soil has been arrested on a charge that he kept and traveled with notebooks containing classified information, including the real names of covert CIA employees.

Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, who has been living in Hong Kong in recent years, was taken into custody Monday night as he arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Lee’s arrest came after more than six years of investigation led by the FBI that also involved his former employer and other U.S. agencies. The top-secret mole-hunting probe was launched in 2012 or earlier, after U.S. intelligence officials concluded that China had somehow figured out the identities of many of their prized assets in country and detained them.

In a criminal complaint filed Saturday, Lee was charged with one felony count of retaining national defense information, a violation of the Espionage Act.

Although that charge does not relate to the long-running U.S. investigation into Lee, his suspected actions on behalf of the Beijing government likely resulted in the deaths or arrests of numerous informants that the United States had cultivated to help it spy on China, according to one former senior U.S. counterespionage official familiar with the case.

“There is no doubt that he had a big part in the problems with the sources,” the former counterespionage official told POLITICO on Tuesday night. “It definitely wasn’t just him but he had a big piece of it, given his background and what he did” as an Asia-based spy for the CIA.

Court papers said Lee, a naturalized U.S. citizen, served in “various overseas position and locations” for the CIA from 1994 to 2007. The agency referred all questions about the case to the Justice Department. The FBI also declined to comment on the case.

The New York Times, which first reported Lee’s suspected role in the case Tuesday, reported last year that China had killed or imprisoned 18 to 20 such informants since 2010, possibly using tips from a mole familiar with U.S. espionage operations.

However, the initial, public court filings in the case make no reference to that crackdown and do not allege that Lee actually disclosed anything to anyone.

“If, indeed, Mr. Lee was working for the Chinese, he was in a position to do great damage,” a former senior official at the CIA responsible for China, Dennis Wilder, told POLITICO. “The turning of a CIA officer is very rare, in part, because of the stringent screening and reinvestigation process for all officers.”

Investigators clearly have had Lee, also known as Zhen Cheng Li, under scrutiny for some time. The criminal charge stems from court-ordered searches of Lee’s luggage in Hawaii and Northern Virginia hotels in 2012.

During those searches, which appear to have been conducted surreptitiously, FBI agents found two small books determined to contain information classified up to the “top secret” level that pertained to Lee’s CIA work.

“The datebook contained handwritten information pertaining to, but not limited to, operational notes from asset meetings, operational meeting locations, operational phone numbers, true names of assets, and covert facilities,” FBI special agent Kellie O’Brien said in an affidavit submitted Saturday to a federal magistrate judge in Alexandria, Virginia. “The address book contained true names and phone numbers of assets and covert CIA employees, as well as the addresses of CIA facilities.”

O’Brien said the information in the books mirrored details in classified CIA cables that Lee wrote discussing his interactions with CIA “assets.”

The former U.S. counterespionage official said that while there was substantial proof of Lee’s complicity in aiding China, U.S. officials worked aggressively for years to gather enough evidence for prosecution, but found Lee to be a very savvy and difficult target given his extensive training in counter-spy defensive maneuvers.

But that former official and others said there were other complicating factors, including indications that China discovered at least some of its turncoats by intercepting and monitoring highly classified communications channels.

And even if Lee was engaged in espionage on behalf of China, the FBI and Justice Department would be extremely reluctant — as would the CIA — to disclose the evidence it had in a criminal prosecution, and how it was obtained, for fear of tipping off China to its sources and methods, according to Wilder and the former U.S. official.

Wilder also said investigators clearly suspected Lee of espionage, but might not have the proof to bring such a charge.

“If the information he had was provided to a foreign power, it would be very damning …”

Dennis Wilder, former CIA senior official

“That is the kind of thing that a covert officer would only collect in that way, to sell to somebody,” he said. “But the fact that they did not arrest him on espionage charges means that they did not have direct evidence of espionage with a foreign power. It doesn’t mean he wasn’t involved in that. But those cases are very hard to make. You need to have a very high standard [of evidence] to charge that. You need to demonstrate contact with a foreign power, the passing of information, you have to have proof that he took this information and that he gave it to somebody else.”

O’Brien’s affidavit suggests that the FBI waited at least eight months after the searches before interviewing Lee in May and June of 2013. He apparently then returned to Hong Kong. It’s unclear whether he has been in and out of the United States between 2013 and his arrest Monday night.

Wilder said the delay in arresting Lee suggested that the FBI was trying to put together more evidence but ultimately couldn’t.

“They obviously sensed that he was doing wrong,” Wilder said. “Waiting until 2018 to arrest him, I imagine that they were hoping to build a strong espionage case against him … If the information he had was provided to a foreign power, it would be very damning, whether it was connected to Beijing or not.”

Missouri man used hidden camera to film teens getting out of the shower, feds say

Federal investigators say a man from Licking, Missouri used a hidden camera to film teenage girls getting out of the shower.

Nathaniel F. Mares, 35, was charged this month with producing child porn after investigators say they found several of his clandestine recordings.

According to a criminal complaint, a family member found 31 of Mares’ flash drives while she was cleaning in December.

The family member put one of the flash drives into her computer and discovered videos of two teenage girls getting in and out of the shower, according to the complaint.

In at least one of the videos, the complaint says, Mares could be seen placing the camera in the bathroom.

The complaint says law enforcement officers arrested Mares on Jan. 4 in Texas County and seized a computer, external hard drive, dozens of flash drives and a “spy pen” video recording device.

Mares is being held in the Greene County Jail.

In asking that he be held in jail before trial, federal prosecutors wrote that Mares — who is employed as a corrections officer at the South Central Missouri Correctional Facility in Licking — also had other “surreptitious” video recordings in his possession.

Prosecutors say they found videos Mares took of a woman and her child walking into Walmart and Mountain Grove Elementary School.

Another video, prosecutors say, was taken at a public pool and focused on girls in swimsuits.

An attorney listed for Mares in online court records did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment for this report.

A spokesperson confirmed Tuesday that Mares was still employed by the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Source: News-Leader

Germany conducts searches against 10 suspected Iranian spies

German authorities searched premises linked to 10 suspected Iranian spies following extensive investigations by the country’s domestic intelligence agency, prosecutors said Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Federal Prosecutors Office said the raids took place early Tuesday at private homes and offices across Germany.

“We believe the suspects spied on institutions and persons in Germany at the behest of an intelligence unit associated with Iran,” spokesman Stefan Biehl told The Associated Press.

He declined to comment on a report by weekly magazine Focus that the suspects were spying on Israelis in Germany.

The investigation was prompted by a tip from Germany’s domestic intelligence service, said Biehl, adding that no arrests had been made yet.

Germany’s Interior Ministry referred questions about the raids to federal prosecutors.

Last month, the German government protested to the Iranian ambassador following the conviction of an Iranian agent for spying. The Pakistani man was convicted in Berlin last year of espionage and sentenced to more than four years in prison. His targets included Reinhold Robbe, who headed the German-Israeli Association.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry said Iranian ambassador Ali Majedi was summoned just before Christmas and told that “spying on people and institutions with a particular relationship to the state of Israel on German soil is a blatant violation of German law.”

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
BERLIN — Jan 16, 2018, 6:45 AM ET