There is a special place in hell reserved for hackers and I hope this guy goes to jail for a long time.
Matthew Keys, a deputy social media editor at Thomson Reuters, has been charged in a federal indictment for allegedly conspiring with members of the hacker group "Anonymous" to hack into the Los Angeles Times, the Justice Department announced today.
Keys, a former web producer for the Tribune Co-owned television station KTXL FOX 40, in Sacramento, Calif., was charged with providing members of the group with log-in credentials for a computer server belonging to the Tribune Co., the L.A. Times parent company, according to the DoJ's press release.
"According to the indictment, Keys identified himself on an Internet chat forum as a former Tribune Company employee and provided members of Anonymous with a login and password to the Tribune Company server," the DoJ press release reads. "After providing log-in credentials, Keys allegedly encouraged the Anonymous members to disrupt the website. According to the indictment, at least one of the computer hackers used the credentials provided by Keys to log into the Tribune Company server, and ultimately that hacker made changes to the web version of a Los Angeles Times news feature."
Keys faces three counts in all -- for a conspiracy to transmit information to damage a protected computer, for transmitting information to damage a protected computer and for attempted transmission of information to damage a protected computer.
"Each of the two substantive counts carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The conspiracy count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000," according to an updated version of the press release. The indictment also contains a notice of forfeiture provision for property traceable to the offense.
I don't care whether it's hacking a newspaper, a bank, or the government, this is a crime committed by people with the emotional maturity of a teenager. The damage done by Wikileaks far, far outweighed any good that came from exposing the thinking of people in our government. And hacking people's financial records at a bank is an outrageous violation of privacy.
Needless to say, hacking someone's personal computer is akin to breaking and entering one's home.
Unless we want the future to be one where no one's privacy is respected and personal information becomes the coin of the realm, the government should go after Anonymous and any other group that purports to be committing these crimes for our own good. There is a towering arrogance in setting oneself up as the arbiter of what is private and what is public. And there's nothing heroic about it.