Former Reuters editor pleads not guilty in Anonymous hacking case

Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:01pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

SACRAMENTO, April 23 (Reuters) - Former Deputy Social Media Editor Matthew Keys pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to federal charges that he aided members of the Anonymous hacking collective.

Keys, 26, on Monday said he was fired by Thomson Reuters , the parent company of Reuters News.

Keys was indicted in March by a federal grand jury in Sacramento on three criminal counts, alleging he entered an Internet chatroom used by members of the hacking collective Anonymous and helped hackers gain access to the computer system of Tribune Co. in December 2010. A story on the Tribune's Los Angeles Times website was altered by one of those hackers, the indictment said.

The alleged events occurred before he joined Reuters in 2012, the indictment indicated.

Keys was silent during the hearing in federal district court in Sacramento as his lawyer Jay Leiderman entered the plea. A status conference was set for June 12.

"He was a journalist in that chatroom, absolutely, but he didn't do the acts he was accused of doing," Leiderman told reporters outside the courtroom. It appeared as if someone else assumed Keys' chatroom identity, he said.

Since the indictment, Keys has continued to tweet about himself and about news events. Thomson Reuters has confirmed that he no longer works at the company.

The maximum for conviction on all three counts would be 25 years in prison, although actual sentences handed down by judges are often far less than the maximum.

In his job at Reuters, Keys posted news from Reuters and other sources on both company Twitter feeds and other means, including his own Twitter account.   Continued...