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Former Reuters journalist gets two years in hacking case

Matthew Keys was convicted of aiding hacktivist group Anonymous in breaking into and defacing the Los Angeles Times Web site.

Matthew Keys
Matthew Keys was convicted of helping hackers break into the Los Angeles Times web site to alter a story in 2010.
Matthew Keys

A former Reuters editor convicted of conspiring with hackers to deface the Los Angeles Times website in 2010 was sentenced Wednesday to two years in prison. Matthew Keys, who had faced up to 25 years in prison, continued to assert his innocence and said he plans to appeal the sentencing.

"A prison sentence is not what we were going for, but it could have been worse considering," Keys told CNET sister site ZDNet. "My lawyers feel I am a good candidate for having the sentence stayed pending appeal, and we intend to file a motion seeking just that."

Keys, who was deputy social media editor at Reuters when he was indicted in 2013, is set to surrender on June 15.

Keys, a former Web producer for a TV station owned by Times' parent Tribune Company, was convicted last year of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act by providing login credentials and passwords for the network to the hacktivist group Anonymous a couple of years ago. Keys was convicted under a 1984 act intended to cover bank and defense-related intrusions but has since been criticized for being extended to cover offenses such as violating a Web site's terms of use.