Former Reuters journalist Matthew Keys sentenced to 2 years for a 40-minute web defacement

Matthew Keys, former deputy social media editor for Reuters.com, is seen in his online profile in this undated photo.

On Wednesday, former Reuters.com social media editor Matthew Keys received a two year prison sentence for computer hacking. That's a sentence of 24 months, for a website defacement that lasted only 40 minutes, which Keys himself didn't even execute.

Earlier today in an unrelated high-profile case, the "affluenza teen" who actually murdered people also got two years in jail.

From Sarah Jeong at Vice:

Keys, who once worked for Tribune Company-owned Sacramento television station Fox 40, left that job in 2010 and went on to copy and paste login credentials for the Tribune Company’s Content Management System (CMS) into a chatroom where members of the hacking collective Anonymous planned out their operations. (Keys still denies all allegations.)

An unknown person under the username “sharpie” then went on to log into the CMS and deface a Los Angeles Times article. The article’s headline and dek (the subtitle beneath the headline) remained defaced for about forty minutes before an editor noticed and changed it back.

In October 2015, a jury found Keys guilty of three counts of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a conviction that carried with it a maximum sentence of 25 years. A presentence report prepared by the probation office recommended 87 months (about seven years). The US Attorney’s Office ended up seeking a lower sentence of five years.

Keys’s attorneys asked for probation instead, claiming that the defacement did not result in enough loss to the Tribune Company to warrant any prison time.

"Former Reuters Journalist Matthew Keys Sentenced to Two Years for Hacking" [motherboard]

From the defense’s opening arguments.

From the defense’s opening arguments.

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