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Gilbert man loses job in case tied to alien-search software




Gilbert man loses job in case tied to alien-search software
Gilbert man loses job in case tied to alien-search software



http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2009/11/30/20091130searchforaliens1202.html 

By Emily Gersema
The Arizona Republic
Nov. 30, 2009

The search for intelligent life apparently has stopped for Brad 
Niesluchowski.

Higley Unified School District records obtained by The Arizona Republic 
show that Niesluchowski, of Gilbert, resigned in October after an 
investigation into suspicious activity, including the use of a program 
that searches satellite signals for extraterrestrial life.

According to the documents, district officials said they found 
Niesluchowski had abused his authority in purchasing and oversight of 
district technology and equipment, and downloaded to every district 
computer a University of California-Berkeley program that relies on 
volunteers and their personal computers to search satellite-collected 
data for signs of intelligent life in outer space.

Higley officials so far estimate the damages, energy usage and equipment 
losses linked to Niesluchowski at $1.2 million to $1.6 million.

District administrators hand-delivered a notice of termination of 
contract for cause to Niesluchowski on Oct. 7, which he refused to sign. 
He instead consulted an attorney, and then resigned at the attorney's 
advice.

According to the termination letter, Niesluchowski faces several 
allegations that he violated the terms and responsibilities of his 
contract and ethics policies - and is the focus of a criminal 
investigation. Documents show:

* During a warranted search of his home earlier this fall, Gilbert 
  police found 18 computers and other equipment stolen from the 
  district.

* District officials said they learned Niesluchowski never installed 
  firewalls that would protect students' and staff members' personal 
  information from hackers, exposing district computer and data to 
  potential tampering or damage.

* District officials also say he failed to train and supervise other 
  tech staff.

* Officials allege he downloaded to every district computer a University 
of California-Berkeley program known as "SETI@home." SETI is short for 
  the "Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence."

[...]


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