Social Media Journalist Fired on Allegations of Assisting Hacker (CA Penal Code §1030)

Social Media Journalist Fired on Allegations of Assisting Hacker (CA Penal Code §1030)

Rabin Nabizadeh
April 22, 2013

Last March, 26-year-old Matthew Keys was indicted on allegations of assisting others to hack the Los Angeles Times website and make changes to their web content – harmless alterations to random phrases.  Formerly an employee of Sacramento’s KTXL-TV Channel 40, the presumably disgruntled Keys has been accused of having posted sensitive login information in a chat room that was then used by a hacker named “Sharpie” to break into the system.  Keys was indicted on counts of conspiracy to transmit information to damage a protected computer, transmitting information to damage a protected computer, and attempted transmission of information to damage a protected computer.  He was recently also fired from Thomson Reuters, where he was the social media editor and his Twitter feed was recently named one of the best 140 Twitter feeds of 2012 by Time magazine.  Thomson Reuters insists, however, that Keys has not been fired for reasons relating to the charges against him.

These crimes, “fraud and related activity in connection with computers” (18 USC, §1030), are made illegal by The 1984 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFFA), which is intended to discourage computer hackers, especially when it comes to governmental agencies.  The specific three charges against Keys are found in CA Penal Code §1030 (a)(5), §1030(a)(7), and §1030(b). If all three charges can be proven, Keys will face over $750,000 in fines and up to 25 years in prison – all for one momentary lapse of judgment.  Whether it was thoughtlessness or revenge that motivated Keys – or whether he is innocent entirely of the crimes he is accused of – remains to be seen.

latest news

April 7, 2022
What Can I Expect After Being Arrested for a DUI in California?
A DUI charge is a severe criminal offense in California. DUI arrests take away a massive part of your driving privilege and could tarnish your reputation. Prior DUI convictions can inflict further damage to your career opportunities, driving rights, and immigration status. This blog will go over what you must expect when facing DUI charges. [...]
April 7, 2022
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in California?
DUI cases may stay on your criminal record forever. The United States sees DUI as a serious traffic crime punishable with grave penalties. Fighting your way through a DUI case is a challenging task. But, it doesn't mean you can't do anything about it. There are legal options available for you, depending on the nature [...]
April 6, 2022
Arrested for DUI in California: Am I Going to Lose My Job?
You've been charged with a DUI and have no idea what to do next. A lot of worries may run through your mind, including the fear of losing your job. Many aspects of a DUI charge can be overwhelming to a person, even to those familiar with California Law. In this blog, we will discuss [...]