AP - 21-year-old Jordan Taber, a resident of St. Louis and student at the University of Kansas, was convicted of charges stemming from an investigation that took place in October of 2005. A federal grand jury read back a statement yesterday after a month long trial in which evidence that Taber had breeched a secure sports website, scout.com, was deemed admissible.
Taber’s defense attorney, Jim Harris, argued that merely logging in on someone else’s account when they do not possess access to the server is not a form of computer fraud, and that performing specific functions related to activities that are merely regulated by online volunteers does not fall under the language of the charges in the United States statute regarding computer crime. In addition, the defense maintained that the charges were based on false allegations, given that this particular website did not require e-mail verification.
The prosecution maintained, however, that merely using someone else’s password in order to gain access to any kind of electronic functions on a website was defined as “hacking,” and that Taber clearly violated the computer crime law in this regard.
After only three hours of deliberation, the foreman read back a “guilty” verdict on breaking and entering a secure network, as well as 16 counts of internet death threats.
“This kid clearly needs rehabilitation,” said Federal Judge Brad Robertson, “That definitely factored into the sentence being as lenient as it was. He was originally facing 56 years imprisonment, but I didn’t feel that he deserved to have the rest of his life taken away over this sort of crime."
The federal justice system clearly outlines specific grievances when it comes to computer fraud, and in this particular case, there was more than enough evidence to fit the allegations against Taber.
Taber is said to be contemplating filing an appeal.
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