Matthew Keys

Journalist Matthew Keys Found Guilty On Hacking Charges

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A California jury on Wednesday found journalist Matthew Keys guilty on all three federal hacking charges brought against the former KTXL Fox 40 online producer under a computer fraud law.

The prolific social media reporter could now face up to 25 years in prison. Keys was quick to respond to today’s verdict.

Prosecutors argued that in 2010, while Keys was working at the Sacramento TV station, he shared the login information for the content management system of Tribune Media with members of the hacking group Anonymous. The Anonymous hackers then altered an article published by the Los Angeles Times, which Tribune Media also owned.

The charges were brought against Keys under a controversial law called the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The law, which was passed in the 1980s and criminalizes the trafficking of passwords, came under fire in the wake of Aaron Swartz’s suicide. The prominent programmer involved in the development of Reddit hanged himself after he was federally indicted for data theft under the law.

Though Swartz’s death sparked calls for reforms to the law, President Obama has called for the prison sentences the law carries to be increased.

Whether or not you think Keys did something wrong in sharing the account information, 25 years would be a hefty sentence. Keys will face sentencing on January 16, 2016.

Keys’ lawyer’s office said he was not commenting on the verdict. On Twitter he said Keys will appeal the guilty verdict.

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