Gibson Index

2013-03-14: Matthew Keys Indicted in LA Times "Attack"

Reuters employee and former Tribune employee Matthew Keys was indicted today for giving away workplace credentials to Anonymous in 2011, after his termination from a Tribune-owned FOX TV station in October of 2010.

Mr Keys allegedly gave these credentials freely and even encouraged a member of Anonymous to play with them. The hacker he spoke to successfully defaced the website of the Los Angeles Times (also owned by the Tribune Company) for approximately half an hour on Dec 14/15, 2010, in the form of a modified headline and article.

As a result of this, today, Mr Keys was indicted on charges that can carry sentences of up to 30 years in prison and up to $750,000 in fines. Because he gave away a password to a news website.

This sort of overzealous persecution is exactly what compelled me to start the Gibson Index in the first place. The laws in this new area of the legal system are highly unbalanced and don't reflect the reality of the situation. What Mr Keys did led to nothing more than a Level Two Attack - in the scheme of things, it is is barely noteworthy. He gave away his workplace credentials; for that he should be sued in civil court by his former employer, or maybe a minor criminal charge. That's probably the extent of it.

This intimidation is being fueled by overreaching, poorly-architected laws that appear to think "sharing a password" deserves greater punishment than some states dole out for second-degree murder.

That's not right. The law is meant to serve justice for Americans, not to bully and intimidate them.

The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny. Wole Soyinka

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