SACRAMENTO (CBS13/AP) — A former Sacramento TV station web producer has been sentenced to two years in prison in connection with unauthorized changes made to the Los Angeles Times website.
Matthew Keys, 29, was convicted in October of one count of conspiracy to make unauthorized changes to websites and damage its computer systems, one count of transmitting malicious code, and one count of attempted transmission of malicious code.
His attorneys plan to appeal the conviction.
Defense attorney Jay Leiderman argued for probation and will ask that Keys be allowed to remain free on bail while he appeals to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Mueller ordered Keys to begin serving his sentence June 15.
The appeal will center on whether the Times suffered any significant damage, Leiderman said.
Prosecutors painted Keys as a disgruntled employee who had been fired from FOX40 after an argument with a supervisor in October 2010. While the station had revoked his credentials, they say he maintained a secret access point. Using that access, they say he downloaded a list of viewer email addresses and sent messages to them saying the station wasn’t keeping their information secure.
Prosecutors also said Keys repeatedly deactivated the credentials of his replacement at FOX40.
In December 2010, prosecutors say he posted credentials to the Tribune Company, the parent of FOX40 and the Los Angeles times, on a forum and told them to “go f— s— up” as part of a protest involving the treatment of WikiLeaks. A headline on a tax-cut story was changed to “Pressure builds in House to elect CHIPPY 1337” with the subheadline “House Democratic leader Steny Hoyer sees ‘very good things’ in the deal, which will see uber skid Chippy 1337 take his rightful place as head of the Senate, reluctant House Democrats told to SUCK IT UP.”
Prosecutors say changing that headline and removing the credentials caused Tribune to spend thousands of dollars.