Hacker’s Conviction Thrown outAdded: Thursday, April 17th, 2014
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Current Events
Tags:ET, p2p, Torrent, Piracy, Peer To Peer, Network, Hackers, Internet, BitTorrent, Google, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent, 2013, www.extratorrent.cc
Hacker Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer admitted that his lawyers were racing to get him out of prison after a circuit judge had vacated his conviction. A self-described online troll and hacker was found guilty 17 months ago in conspiracy to gain illegal access to AT&T public servers after obtaining thousands of email addresses of iPad owners. At the moment, the hacker is serving his 41-month federal prison term in Pennsylvania.
Recently, the US Court of Appeals threw out his conviction, deciding that New Jersey, where he was tried, was an improper venue for the case. It should be noted that the issue of venue is especially sensitive in computer fraud trials, which by nature transcend physical jurisdictions.
His lawyers are just focused on getting him out at the moment, because he is being held in a special housing unit, which is a 6x11 cell, and they let him get out 1 hour a day.
Andrew Auernheimer was charged under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act – the same statute that was used to prosecute sadly known Aaron Swartz. In the meantime, critics said that the law in question was meant to prosecute larger crimes and its use in hacking cases was an intimidation tactic by the US government.
The hacker’s attorneys argued at trial that his prosecution under the abovementioned legislation was improper, but still were pleased to see the conviction vacated on venue grounds. They pointed out that if the court had ruled the other way, there would have been universal venue in computer fraud and abuse cases, which would have had huge implications for the Internet and computer legislation in the US.
The hacker’s lawyers claim they never got a full explanation from the government of why it brought the case in New Jersey. As a result, the circuit court found an absence of any apparent connection to New Jersey, because that at the time of the alleged crime, an alleged accomplice of the defender was in California, while the defender himself was in Arkansas. In addition, the servers they accessed were located in Texas and Georgia. Auernheimer’s lawyer asked the authorities about venue in one of their first meetings months ago, but they never provided any meaningful response, so the hacker’s legal team just kept pushing it all the way through trial, and now won an appeal.
Posted by: Date:
Thursday, April 17th, 2014
|posted by (2014-04-17 21:35:11)|
|Just so people know, this is NOT a not guilty verdict.|
Having a case thrown out for improper venue does NOT mean he can't be prosecuted again, ON THE SAME CHARGE, in a relevant location (ie where the crime was committed, or where the defendant lives). HOWEVER, if he's found guilty in the NEW case, time served from the previous case be MUST taken into account in the sentencing phase.
Due to the fact he only accessed PUBLIC servers, and they tried him on a charge of 'failing to receive permission to access' said PUBLIC servers, most judges with ANY technical know how would either dismiss the charges, or give a fairly light sentence (maybe even time served, which means he could probably walk away a free man).
It all depends on IF and WHERE a new case is bought, and WHO the judge is, if one is!
|Welcome back to the free world|
|posted by (2014-04-17 23:44:40)|
|@Crash1, sounds like we got one of them fancy lawyers among us here . . . Well said, although they get another run at a full trial, having already seen the Government's presentation of the case to the jury, which is generally a powerful advantage the second time around.|
|posted by (2014-04-18 04:52:38)|
|@numbnut, Nope ... just somebody who's an avid reader with a relative that's a lawyer, so I read their law books as related to here (Australia). THEN I got interested in the U.S laws as related to technology (they DEFINITELY need work), and started looking up Wikipedia's LAW entries (there's a LOT of them).|
OH, I don't think the original trial in this case was a JURY trial, as I can't see finding 12 people THAT STUPID that they wouldn't recognise the difference between a PUBLIC server and a PRIVATE server. (Then again MAYBE? The trial WAS held in New Jersey after all!!, and only the United States and Canada make routine use of jury trials in a wide variety of non-criminal cases.)
If this guy was accused of hacking a PRIVATE server then they may have actually had a justifiable case, but that's NOT the situation.
|6x11ft cell he is doing well they still have 6x9 ft cells in Dartmoor and 80% of inmates who only have 30 minutes a day exercise on the yard and locked away for the rest of the day.|
|If a federal appeal court has quashed the case then surely under the laws of double jeopardy he should be a free man under the law in any state.|
|They through out the first trial, so it is as if he hasn't been tried at all, under the law, thus double jeopardy isn't attached.|
Had a not-guilty verdict been handed down, then it would apply, even if new evidence came to light, provided he didn't perjure himself.
|posted by (2014-04-19 04:52:51)|
|The appeals court haven't overturned the CONVICTION, merely declared the first trial INVALID, due to being tried in the wrong jurisdiction.|
The government is therefore well within its rights to convene another trial, with the same charges and evidence, in a valid location (ie. where the crime was committed, where the defendant lives, or the victim's location), in this case Arkansas, Texas and Georgia. The alleged accomplice could be tried in California, Texas or Georgia, provided the 'Alleged' part disappears.
PS. If he has another trial and WINS, he could then sue the government for wrongful imprisonment for the 17 months of illegal incarceration. (Especially since the VENUE issue was brought up at the original trial.)
PPS. If he LOSES a second trial, the term of his sentence CAN'T EXCEED that of his ORIGINAL trial, so he'll be no worse off, and his 17 months served have to be taken into account.
In OTHER words: things can ONLY improve.
|as of now he will be set free and someone must decide which state had the crime comitted against (which state) once that is determined the state attorneys office from that state will decide whether or not to prosecute him, new charges will have to be filed and since he has already spent 17 months in prison the likelihood that the case will be pursued further is very remote.|
|posted by (2014-04-19 14:12:26)|
|I find it hard to believe that they can put someone on trial anywhere they choose other than where the crime took place from (unless the defense feels they cannot get a fair trial.) Understand it is the internet connection, but the law is the same, it is blind, not intrusive like the government is.|
|One small thing that some of you forgot. He got caught (caught caught caught...get it?) doing something illegal. Secure servers. Jee wizz.||
Most Popular Stories