The online journalism world is in shock after Matthew Keys, a Reuters’ social media producer was accused of allegedly helping hacktivist group ‘Anonymous’ to break into the computer systems of Los Angeles Times and Tribune Co.
The deputy editor has been held over the accusation of providing the hacker group with important log in credentials for a Tribune Company server. According to media reports, Keys was a former employee at KTLX FOX 40, a Tribune company. He was terminated by the company and later moved to KGO TV and after that to Thomson Reuters in January 2012.
The federal indictment received by the Huffington Post said that Matthew Keys contacted Anonymous through a chat forum under the username AESCracked and asked them to hack Los Angeles Times and told them to ‘f*** up some sh**.’ The hackers managed to break into at least one news feature and made changes in it.
Matthew Keys has been charged with a) conspiracy to transmit information to damage a protected computer, b) transmitting of information to damage a protected computer and c) attempted transmission of information to damage a protected computer.
If found guilty he will face ten years in prison, three years of supervised release and will have to pay $250,000 as fine. This would be marked as a scar in the history of journalism, especially online media. Misusing one’s authority to settle scores and personal enmity is nowhere near journalism.
Apparently from his recent tweet, Matthew Keys is just surprised as anybody else over the matter.
I am fine. I found out the same way most of you did: From Twitter. Tonight I'm going to take a break. Tomorrow, business as usual.— Matthew Keys (@TheMatthewKeys) March 14, 2013
Some are even wishing him the best and offering him help with a possible court case: