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Reuters Journalist Charged with Conspiring with Anonymous

By - Source: LA Times | B 17 comments

The LA Times paints an obvious picture of sheer revenge that has landed a Reuters editor in jail. He was fired from his job at a Sacramento TV station, and allegedly took to hacktivist group Anonymous to serve up a plate of payback. Now he faces prison and hefty fines.

The hacking incident actually took place back in December 2010 when 26-year-old Matthew Keys, currently a deputy social media editor for Reuters, served as a web producer for KTXL FOX 40, a TV station owned by LA Times parent company, Tribune Co. Keys was reportedly terminated in late October for unspecified reasons.

According to the Department of Justice, Keys allegedly identified himself on an Internet chat forum (likely IRC) and provided members of Anonymous with log-in credentials for a Tribune-owned server. The intent was for the group to "disrupt," or rather deface, the TV station's website.

At least one of the computer hackers used the credentials provided by Keys to log into the Tribune Co. server. Ultimately, that hacker also made changes to the web version of a Los Angeles Times news feature.

"Keys had a conversation with the hacker who claimed credit for the defacement of the Los Angeles Times website," the DoJ said. "The hacker allegedly told Keys that Tribune Company system administrators had thwarted his efforts and locked him out.  Keys allegedly attempted to regain access for that hacker, and when he learned that the hacker had made changes to a Los Angeles Times page, Keys responded, 'nice.'"

Keys was indicted on Thursday by a federal grand jury in Sacramento. He has been charged with one count each 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 is scheduled to be arraigned on April 12 in Sacramento.

The DoJ said that 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.

The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty, the DoJ said. The case in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, is United States of America v. Matthew Keys, 13-82.

UPDATE: Thompson Reuters just suspended Keys, but with pay. According to the report, he joined Reuters in January 2012 and worked in New York while living in New Jersey. The alleged hacking incidents took place before he joined Reuters, the company said.

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  • 15 Hide
    retrophe , March 15, 2013 7:38 PM
    Up to 10 yrs and up to $250,000? He could have pulled the fire alarm and set off a fire extinguisher in the middle of a broadcast and gotten in less trouble. Hell he probably could have punched a news anchor too and still been better off . . eh but still in trouble.
  • 12 Hide
    Dupontrocks11 , March 15, 2013 7:58 PM
    retropheUp to 10 yrs and up to $250,000? He could have pulled the fire alarm and set off a fire extinguisher in the middle of a broadcast and gotten in less trouble. Hell he probably could have punched a news anchor too and still been better off . . eh but still in trouble.


    Yea and Aaron Swartz could have stolen all of the books in the MIT library and gotten a fine and maybe a month in jail, but he was threatened with 30+ years. Those who do not understand the internet are unfortunately indirectly in control of it.
  • 10 Hide
    STravis , March 15, 2013 9:22 PM
    Ethel Kimmy roomate's half-sister makes $74/hour on the computer. She has been unemployed for six months but last month her income was $14248 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more here.............. www.Bing30.com


    Sounds like your roomate's mom is a whore.
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    retrophe , March 15, 2013 7:38 PM
    Up to 10 yrs and up to $250,000? He could have pulled the fire alarm and set off a fire extinguisher in the middle of a broadcast and gotten in less trouble. Hell he probably could have punched a news anchor too and still been better off . . eh but still in trouble.
  • 12 Hide
    Dupontrocks11 , March 15, 2013 7:58 PM
    retropheUp to 10 yrs and up to $250,000? He could have pulled the fire alarm and set off a fire extinguisher in the middle of a broadcast and gotten in less trouble. Hell he probably could have punched a news anchor too and still been better off . . eh but still in trouble.


    Yea and Aaron Swartz could have stolen all of the books in the MIT library and gotten a fine and maybe a month in jail, but he was threatened with 30+ years. Those who do not understand the internet are unfortunately indirectly in control of it.
  • 9 Hide
    madjimms , March 15, 2013 8:00 PM
    The legal system is a joke.
  • 2 Hide
    STravis , March 15, 2013 8:06 PM
    Maybe his hacker friends can help him out...
  • 10 Hide
    STravis , March 15, 2013 9:22 PM
    Ethel Kimmy roomate's half-sister makes $74/hour on the computer. She has been unemployed for six months but last month her income was $14248 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read more here.............. www.Bing30.com


    Sounds like your roomate's mom is a whore.
  • 2 Hide
    demonhorde665 , March 16, 2013 3:30 AM
    STravisSounds like your roomate's mom is a whore.



    ROFLOL - Chopper , good one dude
  • -5 Hide
    janetonly42 , March 16, 2013 5:07 AM
    Not surprised Reuters is full of lefty commie loving liberals as is much of the press.
  • 5 Hide
    tokencode , March 16, 2013 6:32 AM
    janetonly42Not surprised Reuters is full of lefty commie loving liberals as is much of the press.


    I'm guessing 42 represents the year you were born in if "lefty commie loving liberals" is part of your vocabulary. Please keep your cold -war era politics off of our technical site.
  • 0 Hide
    COLGeek , March 16, 2013 9:36 AM
    "Stupid is as stupid does"...Forrest Gump

    Must have been a "great" employee....
  • 1 Hide
    NuclearShadow , March 16, 2013 2:33 PM
    Our laws are so messed up. There are people convicted of manslaughter, sexual assault, rape, assault, and other actual serious crimes that get less time than that. We live in a time where showing crimes done by our government and military can lead to a life sentence like with Bradley Manning. While the true guilty walk free.

    It's clear what America's justice system has become. Don't do a crime if your the average Joe. Especially if it will potentially cost someone richer than you money that will result in more time. But if your wealthy and powerful go ahead and stomp on every law as long as it doesn't hurt your rich buddies. We just had our Attorney General Eric Holder come out and say they we will not pursue criminal charges against wealthy members of large institutions because of the effect it may have on the economy.

    We all know the law has been more gentle towards the wealthy but now it's become abhorrent towards everyone else while our government now openly admits wealth is a get out of jail free card.
  • 0 Hide
    azxcvbnm321 , March 18, 2013 5:22 AM
    People, it's a MAXIMUM sentence, not the sentence he will receive which is likely probation and a fine.
  • 0 Hide
    digiex , March 18, 2013 5:58 AM
    They are not Anonymous after all.
  • -2 Hide
    hookmaya49 , March 18, 2013 6:24 AM
    until I looked at the bank draft that said $5930, I be certain that my mom in-law woz like they say really bringing home money part-time online.. there uncle haz done this for less than and by now cleard the dept on there cottage and got a great new Lotus Carlton. go to, http://www.youtube.com.qr.net/kfZX
  • 0 Hide
    garrick , March 19, 2013 6:40 AM
    It's crazy that you could unintentionally take someone's life and serve less time than someone who hacked a website.
    It goes to show you that the people who control the nations wealth do not take too kindly to having their secrets revealed.
    Knowledge is power!
  • 0 Hide
    woodscrews , March 20, 2013 1:18 PM
    guys, stop calling every faggot skid anonymous, it tends to lower the amount of porn threads on the board, and theres never enough as it is
  • 0 Hide
    woodscrews , March 20, 2013 1:18 PM
    guys, stop calling every faggot skid anonymous, it tends to lower the amount of porn threads on the board, and theres never enough as it is
  • 0 Hide
    woodscrews , March 20, 2013 1:19 PM
    gah, sorry for doubleposting
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