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U Georgia Investigates Music Download Extortion Attempt

The University of Georgia has ended its investigation into a case of IT extortion. According to the campus police department, a security analyst employed by the university has been charged with trying to extort money from a student to cover up her downloads of copyrighted files. The case first came to light in January 2010 when a female student reported to police that a "known individual" had attempted to extort money from her.

According to coverage in the Athens Banner-Herald, a U Georgia IT security analyst who was responsible for dealing with violation notices originating out of the university's Enterprise IT Services division called the student, according to police, to tell her she had been caught downloading copyrighted material. The student told police that te analyst said he'd make the infraction "go away" if she paid him. Campus police sent a plainclothes officer to impersonate the student. When the analyst reportedly accepted the money, he was arrested and charged with felony extortion.

The university fired the analyst the same day. Representatives said they believe that other students have probably been a victim of similar shakedowns. Since the case has gone public, however, nobody else has come forward, even though the university has made assurances that "they won't be held accountable," according to the paper.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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