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An employee of the Ohio Department of Health has reportedly confessed to illegally downloading, television series and more than 30,000 comic books from torrent sites to state computers.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Edward Jones Jr., who has worked in information technology for the agency since 1992, admitted to the activity during an investigation by the inspector general’s office initiated last year after an allegation by media giant Viacom that copyrighted material had been downloaded using a state IP address.
According to the inspector general’s report, Jones initially suggested that Viacom might have simply detected him downloading “suspicious programs” or viruses to an unauthorized third computer for analysis as part of his job. Shortly after that first interview, in April 2012, Jones reportedly attempted to delete more than 5,000 files from the computer and an external hard drive; investigators were later able to recover those video and comic book files. They also determined that Jones was a member of several torrenting websites, where he both downloaded and uploading files.
During a second interview, in July 2013, Jones reportedly described himself as a comic book collector, but initially said he may have downloaded the list of comics but not the actual files. When confronted with images of three of the covers from the recovered files, he allegedly copped first only downloading the covers, and then, who told the entire comics were found on the drive, said he “would just take the cover and throw the rest away.”
Ultimately, Jones is said to have confessed to downloading comic books and that he “probably” downloaded some video files so he could record the TV series theme songs for his blog. Asked why those actions wouldn’t violate copyright laws, he’s quoted as replying, “I’ll take ownership of being lazy. Of not caring. Not being careful.” However, Jones insisted he wasn’t downloading the works for profit. “I guess I’m in a lot of trouble but it was not intentional, but I’ll own up to (it),” he told investigators.
In its report, the inspector general recommends the Ohio Department of Health address improper computer use, and remove any software determined to be unauthorized. It’s also forwarding the findings of the investigation to U.S. attorney, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Franklin County prosecutor and the Columbus city prosecutor