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Journalist gets 2 years for helping Anonymous hack LA Times

SACRAMENTO, April 14 (UPI) — A judge sentenced blogger Matthew Keys to two years in federal prison for helping hacker group Anonymous access the Los Angeles Times website in 2010.

U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller on Wednesday ordered Keys, 29, to surrender June 15 to begin serving the prison term and scheduled a June 8 hearing to determine the amount of restitution he must pay.

He was convicted in October in Sacramento, Calif., for what was described as a revenge cyberattack against the newspaper, then owned by Tribune Media Company, after he was fired from KTXL-TV in Sacramento, another Tribune property.

Testimony in Keys’ trial included a recording in which he admitted giving Tribune login credentials to a member of Anonymous. The hacker later gained access to the company’s content management system and changed a headline in an online version of a Los Angeles Times story.

Keys was convicted of conspiracy to damage a protected computer, transmission of a malicious code and attempted transmission of a malicious code.

His arrest surprised social media practitioners, who considered him in the vanguard of new media journalists.

In an essay Wednesday, he wrote, “I am innocent, and I did not ask for this fight. Nonetheless, I hope that our combined efforts help bring about positive change to rules and regulations that govern our online conduct,” The New York Times reported.

On his Twitter feed he wrote, “2 years. We plan on filing a motion to stay the sentence.”

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