Matthew Keys, 26, a deputy social media editor for Reuters.com has been indicted on charges of aiding members of the hacker’s group Anonymous by a federal grand jury in Sacramento, California. Keys has been indicted on three criminal counts for activities he participated in before he joined Thomson Reuters as an employee.
However, on Friday, a Reuters spokesman said that according to company policies, Matthew Keys has been suspended with pay until things are resolved.
Reuters reported that New York attorney Tor Ekeland is representing Keys and that Keys has maintained his innocence. Ekeland said that a legal team is being assembled to properly defend Keys and he “looks forward to contesting these baseless charges.”
The indictment accuses that in December 2010, Keys gave hackers access to the computer systems of Tribune Co and that a story on the Tribune’s Los Angeles Times website was altered by one of the hackers who had access.
According to court filings, at the time of the incident, Keys was working for a Tribune-owned television station in Sacramento and used to operate Tribune’s Twitter and Facebook feeds. However, Reuters reports that according to FBI documents, Keys was terminated by Tribune in October 2010, two months before the alleged incident took place.
Keys joined Reuters in New York in January 2012 as a deputy social media editor, and he promoted stories through Twitter and other social media avenues. Currently, he lives in Secaucus, New Jersey.
According to the court docket, Keys is scheduled for arraignment on April 12. Keys had written on a personal blog as well as on a Reuters blog that he had previously had access to an elite group of hackers including the infamous Sabu. Sabu was later identified by law enforcement authorities as Hector Xavier Monsegur, who became an informant, and has pleaded guilty last year to taking part in multiple hacking conspiracies.