Former Reuters editor Matthew Keys sentenced to two years in prison for LA Times hack

Keys tells ZDNet: "This prosecution was bullsh*t" and plans to appeal the sentencing.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor

Former Reuters editor Matthew Keys was sentenced to two years in prison on Wednesday for conspiring with Anonymous to deface the LA Times in 2010, a charge he denies.

"I've always asserted my innocence. The allegations made against me were wrong, and this prosecution was bullshit," Keys told ZDNet after the sentencing on Wednesday.

Keys faced a maximum sentence of 25 years. The US Attorney General's office recommended a five year sentence, while Keys' defense asked for probation.

Keys will surrender on June 15, 2016, according to Motherboard. He wrote on Twitter following the sentencing that he plans to appeal and vows to change the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act he is being charged under.

"A prison sentence is not what we were going for, but it could have been worse considering," Keys told ZDNet. "My lawyers feel I am a good candidate for having the sentence stayed pending appeal, and we intend to file a motion seeking just that."

The case has drawn wide scale attention, as Keys garnered a following on Twitter for his breaking news ability, which he used at Reuters as deputy social media editor.

Prior to the sentencing on Wednesday, Keys wrote in a Medium post: "Today is the most-important day of my life so far. The direction of the rest of my life rests with a single person and is almost completely beyond my control."

Keys is said to have helped Anonymous get access into the Los Angeles Time's content management in 2010 by using his login from his position at Fox 40 in Sacramento, California -- also a Tribune Media company.

Once he was charged with the crime in March 2013, he was released by Reuters from his position. Keys has maintained his innocence since being charged, saying he was a journalist observing a hacker group.

Keys wrote:

I am innocent, and I did not ask for this fight. Nonetheless, I hope that our combined efforts help bring about positive change to rules and regulations that govern our online conduct. As I've previously wrote about, nobody should face terrorism charges for passing a Netflix username and password. But under today's law, prosecutors can use their discretion to bring those exact charges against people -- including journalists -- whenever they see fit.
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