Matthew Keys, the Reuters deputy social media editor indicted earlier this week for conspiring with Anonymous hackers to breach his former employer’s website, has been “suspended with pay.” However, the story is far from being over.
According to The Huffington Post, Keys’ attorney argues that his client was simply doing “undercover-type investigative journalism.”
“This is a guy who went where he needed to go to get the story. He went into the sort of dark corners of the Internet. He’s being prosecuted for that, for going to get the story,” attorney Jay Leiderman noted.
Anonymous hacktivists also appear to be supporting Keys’ case. In a post published a few hours ago, they threatened to leak the personal and financial details of several law enforcement agency employees.
“Matthew Keys has just been indicted for supposedly sharing admin login details of the Tribune Company with, you guessed it, none other than Hector Xavier Monsegur over two years ago. See a theme developing here yet?” the hackers wrote.
“The law will target those around and within Anonymous in any way that they can, and bottom feeders like Sabu will help prop up any flimsy case they happen to want to bring.”
On the other hand, Huffington Post reports that authorities seem pretty confident Keys was not doing investigative journalism when he collaborated with Anonymous.
Keys is being investigated since 2010 when Fox 40 found that the station’s email contact list had been compromised. At the time, Keys allegedly also changed the passwords to the station’s social media accounts.
His various conversations with hackers obtained by the FBI also don’t seem to support the fact that he’s innocent. FBI documents contain chat logs between Keys and various hacktivists in which he appears to be encouraging them to hack websites.
In addition, in 2011, hacktivists started publicly discussing the journalist’s involvement in the attack against the LA Times.
Authorities say they’ve been hesitant in unsealing the indictment against Keys because he’s a journalist.