Dozens of Pentagon officials and contractors -- some with high level security clearance -- allegedly purchased and downloaded child pornography, The Boston Globe reported Friday.
Investigators identified offenders employed by the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and other departments within the Defense Department.
The report by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service said the number of offenders -- thought to be around 30 people -- is a small percentage of the thousands of people working with sensitive material but leaves the security agency workers "at risk of blackmail, bribery and threats, especially since these individuals typically have access to military installations."
The more than 50 pages, compiled by the investigative service -- part of the Pentagon’s Inspector General’s Office -- contain summaries of investigations initiated since 2002, including some cases that remain open.
Buying child pornography is crime and accessing it on a government computer is also a violation of laws governing the misuse of government property.
Two of the cases relate to contractors with top level clearances at the National Security Agency -- which eavesdrops on foreign communications.
Facing charges, one fled the U.S. and is thought to be hiding in Libya and the other was sentenced to five years in prison in 2008.