Monday, March 18, 2013

Update: Andrew Auernheimer Watch

Well, this is going to give me nightmares for a while.


"Andrew Auernheimer, a hacker known as "Weev," was sentenced Monday to 41 months in prison for obtaining the personal data of more than 100,000 iPad owners from AT&T's publicly accessible website and sending the information to the media. The ruling immediately sparked an outcry from a digital rights group that claims the punishment does not fit the crime."


Auernheimer and Spitler discovered that the site would leak e-mail addresses to anyone who provided it with a ICC-ID. So the two wrote a script – which they dubbed the “iPad 3G Account Slurper” — to mimic the behavior of numerous iPads contacting the web site in order to harvest the e-mail addresses of iPad users.
The two contacted the Gawker website to report the hole...
On Monday, following the announcement of his sentence, the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced that it had joined Auernheimer’s appellate team.


"This is the third big CFAA-related case I’ve covered lately, the other two being those of Internet activist Aaron Swartz and Reuters deputy social media editor Matthew Keys. While the specifics of the charges in each case differ, all three illustrate the unfortunate plasticity of the CFAA, and how it can be shaped and contorted to cover almost any computing-related actions. (Did you fill out an NCAA bracket from your work computer today? Congratulations! Depending on your office’s computer use policies, you may have violated the CFAA!)"


Heading into his sentencing hearing, “Weev” reportedly proclaimed, “I’m going to jail for doing arithmetic!” And in an earlier Twitter direct message conversation, the hacker told me what he believes to be the issues at stake in his case. He explained that the AT&T data he accessed was already “published” — the telecom company has admitted as much. “The government asserted that after the fact, they can declare a given access to data anyone makes public ‘unauthorized’ and have you thrown in prison,” he wrote.
As well as 41 months in jail, “Weev” has been sentenced to an added three years’ probation and must pay more than $73,000 in restitution to AT&T.
Auernheimer will appeal the federal court’s decision. On Monday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced that its attorneys would join his legal team. “Weev is facing more than three years in prison because he pointed out that a company failed to protect its users’ data, even though his actions didn’t harm anyone,” EFF senior staff attorney Marcia Hofmann said. “The punishments for computer crimes are seriously off-kilter, and Congress needs to fix them.”

No comments: