Thursday, October 08, 2015

Journalist in CA convicted of "hacking" under same law used against Aaron Swartz; may not have been tech-savvy enough

So is it possible for an ordinary person or journalist to be wrongfully convicted of or framed for hacking?

There may be a parable in the narrative of Matthew Keys, former producer at KTXL Fox 40 in Sacramento. It’s covered in an Ars Technica story by Cyrus Farivar Oct. 7, here

He was charged and convicted after supposedly handing over credentials to a content management system for Tribune Media, which led to members of Anonymous making changes to a Los Angeles Times story.

But Keys denies the government account, saying that he had not registered his IRC handle, so the hack was done by someone else.

So is this a case of a journalist not technically savvy enough to stay out of trouble, or of someone a convenient political target for the government?

Keys was convicted under the same statute used against Aaron Swarts, and prosecutors want five years in prison.  Theoretically he could get 25 years.  And despite public sympathy for Swartz, with Obama administration has been urging longer sentences under the law.

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