Keys, 26, is accused of helping the group hack into the Tribune Co. website shortly after he was employed as a web producer by Sacramento-based television station KTXL FOX 40. According to the indictment, two months after Keys was terminated by KTXL, he gave Anonymous the log-in information to the Tribune Company server and encouraged members of the group to disrupt the website.
Court papers posted by the Huffington Post show that Keys allegedly was caught in a chat conversation with a member of the hacking group discussing breaking into the website. Once in, a member of Anonymous allegedly changed content on a Los Angeles Times story about Steny Hoyer.
Los Angeles Times producer Morgan Little pointed out on Twitter that Anonymous itself had allegedly outed Keys years ago for the stunt.
The social media editor faces 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release for each count if convicted.
Keys is well-known on social media, often making lists of "Who To Follow". He has not commented on the allegations on his Twitter account, which has more than 23,000 followers.
On Twitter, journalists and social media editors were quick to jump this defense, pointing out that he did minimal damage in an event that happened years ago.
You wouldn't get 30 years for ransacking a store. Insane that's what Matthew Keys could face. Sort yourself out, criminal justice system.— Sam Knight (@samknight1) March 14, 2013
The most notorious hacking figure in a VERY long time outed @thematthewkeysin 2011, and NOBODY NOTICED. Incredible. Incredible incredible.— Sam Biddle (@samfbiddle) March 14, 2013
A little insane that @thematthewkeys faces max sentence of 25 years for allegedly helping some guy deface the LAT's site for half an hour.— Evan Hill (@evanchill) March 14, 2013
[Image: Flickr user jkarsh]