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updated: 3/15/2013 4:25 PM

Journalist's lawyer: Prank doesn't merit prison

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  • Associated Press/Nov. 16, 2006A worker cleans an entrance to the Los Angeles Times building in Los Angeles. Federal authorities allege that Matthew Keys provided hackers with login information to access the Tribune Company's computer system in December 2010.

      Associated Press/Nov. 16, 2006A worker cleans an entrance to the Los Angeles Times building in Los Angeles. Federal authorities allege that Matthew Keys provided hackers with login information to access the Tribune Company's computer system in December 2010.

 
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- A lawyer for a Reuters editor accused of conspiring with hackers to deface a Los Angeles Times story says the journalist didn't commit the crimes he's accused of.

But even assuming that he did, attorney Jay Leiderman said Friday that it was an Internet prank, and that shouldn't land anyone in prison for 25 years.

Federal authorities allege Matthew Keys provided the hacking group Anonymous with login information to access the Tribune Co.'s computer system. Triune is the Times' parent company.

According to an indictment handed down Thursday, the hacker altered a Times news story posted in December 2010 to reference another hacking group.

The hack occurred after Keys was fired from a Sacramento television station also owned by Tribune.

Reuters hired Keys in 2012. He has been suspended after being charged with conspiracy and transmitting information to damage a protected computer.

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