Patrick Rock, 63, a one-time adviser to the Prime Minister, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court.
Prosecutor Ruona Igvyovwe said Rock, of Fulham in London, has been charged with three counts of making indecent photographs of children, and one count of possessing indecent images.
The charges relate to more than 60 images, all described as category C - the lowest on the scale.
Miss Igvyovwe said the charges related to offences that are alleged to have taken place in the US.
District judge John Zani granted Rock, who has no previous convictions, conditional bail. He will appear at Southwark Crown Court on July 17.