Former Reuters employee pleads not guilty to Anonymous charges

Matthew Keys was fired this week from Reuters for reasons reportedly unrelated to his federal charges

Topics: Anonymous, Reuters, Hacking, Tribune company, matthew keys, ,

Former Reuters employee pleads not guilty to Anonymous charges Matthew Keys (Credit: Reuters)

Matthew Keys — the social media editor fired from his position at Reuters Monday for reasons he believes could be political — pleaded not guilty Tuesday to federal charges that he conspired with members of Anonymous to attack websites of  the Tribune Co., his former employer.

According to the government’s indictment, Keys provided Anonymous hackers with information including usernames and passwords to access Tribune Co. sites in late 2010, after he was fired from his job at a Tribune-owned station in Sacramento, Calif. Keys has rejected a plea bargain and, if found guilty, could face up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000. His attorneys argue that although Keys had communicated with Anons via online chat rooms, it was someone posing as the journalist who provided the Tribune Co. access to information.

“There’s an incongruity to all of this that we’re hoping to get to the bottom of in the next couple months,” Keys’ attorney Jay Leiderman told HuffPo.

Keys garnered media attention again last week for reasons other than his indictment, for what was widely regarded as irresponsible coverage and information spreading on Twitter around the Boston Marathon bombings. Keys, who had been suspended with pay by Reuters following the announcement of charges against him, was fired this week with no mention of his indictment. According to a blog post written by Keys, Reuters cited his Twitter use as the primary grounds for his firing. The journalist questioned whether the news agency had other motivations:



I am represented by a union. The union tells me they will be filing a grievance. I don’t have plans to provide play-by-play of that process, but it will take a long time.

After I got off the phone with the company this morning, I tweeted the news that I had been fired. I figured it would be better if the news came from me instead of, say, a Huffington Post reporter.

Immediately, social journalists and news organizations drew a parallel between my firing and a criminal indictment that came down last month. While my suspension was related to the indictment, it’s unclear if my firing had anything to do with it. The company mentioned the suspension several times, but they did not mention the case nor did they mention the indictment.

Still, one has to wonder if they are connected. A company doesn’t typically clear off your desk (as was reported by Reuters) if they have plans to let you return to work. The Tribune Company, at the heart of the indictment that came down last month, is one of Reuters’ largest media clients. The suspension has been political from the start.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>