September 26, 2023

Judge Gets Jail, Hacker Rewarded For Committing Same Crime

I was just reading this article about a California judge who was sentenced to 23 months in prison for possession of child porn. That’s not the part that upsets me though.

It seems the judge was caught when a canadian hacker named Brad Willman installed a trojan on the judge’s computer and started reading his filed. Brad then turned the child porn over to authorities and they arrested the judge.

But what about Brad? Brad wrote and distributed a virus. He installed software onto the judge’s machine without his consent, and viewed all of the judge’s files. This no doubt includes confidential information only meant for a judge. In addition, Brad had to have downloaded the images to his machine to view them – if only temporarily.

It seems to me that while his actions ulitmately captured a creep, Brad should be charged with a lot more crimes than the judge.

Catching a bad guy is one thing, but do we really want vigilante justice to rule? Do we want to send a message that it’s ok to spy on your neighbor, trespass into their property, and illegally access their computers to make sure that they’re not breaking any laws?

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Ryan Jones is an SEO from Detroit. By day he works as a manager of SEO & Analytics at SapientNitro where his team performs SEO for Fortune500 clients. By night he's either playing hockey or attempting to take over the world with his own websites - which he would have already succeeded in doing had it not been for those meddling kids and their dog. The views expressed here have not been paid for and belong only to Ryan, not any of his employers or clients. Follow Ryan on Twitter at: @RyanJones, add him on Google+ or visit his personal website: