Attorney Jay Leiderman discussed in the Washington Post concerning the Matthew Keys case
“‘Beyond disgusting,’ says journalist Matthew Keys of his hacking conspiracy conviction” by Justin Wm. Moyer October 8, 2015, The Washington Post
The crime seemed minor — maybe more like a prank. In December 2010, someone changed an article about tax policy on the Los Angeles Times Web site. Many of the changes didn’t make sense — references to “Chippy 1337″ and “Chippys NO 1 FAN.” “Reluctant House Democrats told to SUCK IT UP,” read one intelligible alteration.
But for journalist Matthew Keys, who prosecutors said illegally leaked the username and password needed to make the changes to the hacking group Anonymous, the end result may mean 25 years in prison. In a case that’s drawn the attention of Edward Snowden and other advocates, Keys, a 28-year-old former Reuters employee, was convicted Wednesday in federal court in California for conspiring to make unauthorized changes to the Web sites of the Tribune Company, owner of the L.A. Times; for conspiring to damage its computers; and for transmitting and attempting to transmit malicious code.
“For defacing an @LATIMES article for 40 minutes, journo @MatthewKeysLive faces 25 years,” Edward Snowden tweeted. “Years.”
In an telephone interview with The Washington Post hours after his conviction, Keys summarized his thoughts.
“It’s bulls—,” he said. “The verdict is bulls—, the case is bulls—, the charges are bulls—. It’s all bulls—.”
Keys and his attorney, Jay Leiderman, said they will appeal.
“He shouldn’t be doing a day in jail,” Leiderman told the L.A. Times. “With love and respect, [The Times’] story was defaced for 40 minutes when someone found it and fixed it in three minutes. What do you want, a year a minute?”
Prosecutors said they are likely to ask for less than a five-year sentence but stressed that Keys’s conduct was damaging.
Keys said the Tribune Company — by then his former employer to whom he nonetheless pitched his story about Anonymous — should have supported him. This was about freedom of the press, not passwords.
“Tribune Media – what are they thinking?” he said. “Do they care about journalism at all? Do they care about the government prosecuting a journalist who decided to keep his sources undisclosed? That is beyond disgusting.”