The Higley Unified School District fired its information technology director, not only because he took school computer equipment home for his personal use, but because he programmed all of the district’s computers into the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life (SETI) network to help find aliens.
Bradley Niesluchowski now faces charges of using public money for personal use, possession of lost and stolen property, and computer tampering in an educational facility.
People voluntarily install the SETI software, which uses your computer while it is idle to “analyze radio telescope data in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.” But Niesluchowski went into the outer limits by downloading it onto 5,000 school district computers. Teachers complained their computers were slow to respond.
The district estimates it will take up to $1.6 million to replace and repair the computers.