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Local television station reportedly a victim of Internet crimes

The Internet has made life easier for many people in many ways, but it has also created another means for crimes to occur. However, state and federal laws covering Internet crimes are always evolving, and mostly legislators are playing catch-up when new laws are enacted. This makes every element of a criminal charge crucial, and from a criminal defense standpoint any little bit of evidence could make the difference in a case.

A recent news story detailed how a Sacramento-based television station has alleged that a former employee was behind an attempt to hack the station's website. The station is owed by Tribune Co., a large media conglomerate which owns the Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times, among other media outlets. According to the report, the former employee, who was employed as a web producer, allegedly gave some sensitive information to the hacker group Anonymous, including a log-in password. That information was then allegedly used in the impersonation of actual employees to gain access to the website.

As a result of these reported actions, the former employee is facing some very serious charges. However, the criminal justice process in this case is just beginning to play out.

When a person is facing criminal charges involving Internet use, the exact criminal statute in question needs to be carefully scrutinized. These types of laws are relatively new for both state and federal government agencies. Their use and implementation can leave a lot of grey area for attorneys, judges and investigators. Anyone facing these types of charges should be sure to immediately begin to assess the options for a criminal defense strategy. There often is a fine line between lawful Internet use and criminal activity.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Ex-Fox 40 web producer accused of conspiring to hack Internet news site," Cathy Locke, March 15, 2013

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