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Reuters suspended Deputy Social Media Editor Matthew Keys, who was indicted Thursday for allegedly helping hackers deface Tribune Co. websites.
Keys took to Twitter Thursday night:
I am fine. I found out the same way most of you did: From Twitter. Tonight I’m going to take a break. Tomorrow, business as usual.
— Matthew Keys (@TheMatthewKeys) March 14, 2013
Reuters earlier reported that “a Thomson Reuters employee at the New York office where Keys worked said that his work station was being dismantled and that his security pass had been deactivated.”
The employee is not named.
The Reuters story quotes a Keys acquaintance who says he has “a pretty extreme personality” and reports that Keys was “reprimanded by Reuters editors” last October for “creating a parody Twitter account…which mocked Google after a premature release of an earnings report.”
In a statement emailed to Poynter and other outlets Thursday evening, David Girardin of Thomson Reuters’ corporate affairs department wrote:
“We are aware of the charges brought by the Department of Justice against Matthew Keys, an employee of our news organization. Thomson Reuters is committed to obeying the rules and regulations in every jurisdiction in which it operates. Any legal violations, or failures to comply with the company’s own strict set of principles and standards, can result in disciplinary action. We would also observe the indictment alleges the conduct occurred in December 2010; Mr. Keys joined Reuters in 2012, and while investigations continue we will have no further comment.”
Matt Pearce’s report on Keys’ indictment in the Los Angeles Times includes a screenshot of a Times article the indictment alleges one hacker defaced.
• The FBI tells New York’s Stefan Becket it searched Keys’ New Jersey house last October.
• Parmy Olson says Anonymous-affiliated hacker Sabu told her Keys got group “full admin access” to the Tribune CMS. “When I eventually put the allegation to Keys himself, he denied it,” she writes.
• “In the next few weeks, expect a public battle over the severity of not just his supposed crime, but of Internet crimes writ large,” Brian Fung writes in National Journal.