Saturday, May 1, 2010

Is Terry Childs a Cyber Extortionist?

On Tuesday, April 27th, a jury of his peers, which included a network engineer, convicted Terry Childs of a felony for withholding administrative access to the City of San Francisco's networks by refusing to hand over privileged user credentials. covers the story here.

His defense that his supervisors were not qualified to have the passwords is rather remarkable. He was a "privileged user" because his employer placed him in that position, not because of any rights he held. Childs' refusal to turn over the information to his superiors seems likes a pure case of extortion and a total misunderstanding of his responsibilities and I believe it is a good thing that he was convicted. Another case of the laws starting to deal with new threats that we face in the Information Technology world in the 21st century.

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