The Justice Department is seeking a five-year prison sentence for a journalist convicted of giving the hacker collective Anonymous login credentials used to deface a story on the Los Angeles Times website in 2010.
Prosecutors are complaining that Matthew Keys, 29, a social media maven who worked for two TV stations and the Reuters news agency, used digital media such as Twitter to thumb his nose at the legal system in the wake of the guilty verdicts a federal jury in Sacramento returned against him last year.
“He expressed contempt for the jury’s verdict,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Segal wrote in a sentencing memo filed Wednesday. “Minutes after the verdict, [Keys] tweeted, ‘That was b—s—.’”
“It is exceptionally rare to see a defendant engage in an after-verdict press campaign to undermine public confidence in the jury’s verdict.” Segal wrote. “It is a direct attack on the work of the jury and the validity of the verdicts. It undermines respect for law at a time when the public seems more willing to credit strongly worded criticism of traditional institutions.”