Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Former US embassy official accused of sexual harassment

A former State Department employee has been charged with using federal resources to harass hundreds of women around the country, demanding that they send him videos of “sexy girls” or face retaliation. The Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that a former staff member of the U.S. Embassy in London, Michael Ford, 36, was indicted on nine counts of cyberstalking, seven counts of computer hacking to extort and one count of wire fraud. “Ford is alleged to have hacked into hundreds of email accounts and tormented women across the country, by threatening to humiliate them unless they provided him with sexually explicit photos and videos,” said U.S. Attorney John Horn. Ford is alleged to have gained access to women’s online accounts by “phishing.” He sent 4,500 official-looking messages to “thousands of potential victims, including members of college sororities,” stating that their account was due for deletion unless they provided him with their log-in credentials, Justice said.



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