Operation Hackerazzi

Technology has now become a part of many people’s lives, specifically the internet. Many people do not go a day without using some form of computer device. With constant use and practice, many people learn how to utilize computers and different technology to do harm. An example of this would be computer hacking. A recent case involves a man accused of hacking into the email accounts of film star Scarlett Johansson and other celebrities to access nude photos and private information. This man has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges. Christopher Chaney of Jacksonville, Florida, will plead guilty on Monday to nine criminal counts, including unauthorized access to a computer and wiretapping, according to a plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison, although federal sentencing guidelines often call for less time behind bars. Chaney was arrested in October after an 11-month investigation dubbed “Operation Hackerazzi” by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. While investigators probably assumed the culprit was an advanced hacker in Los Angeles somewhere, he was actually a man right here in northern Florida with an internet spying addiction. Chaney was charged with 26 counts of cyber-related crimes for hacking into e-mails of Johansson, “Black Swan” star Mila Kunis and pop star Christina Aguilera. Other victims were identified only by their initials: B.P., J.A., L.B. and L.S. Being that all victims were celebrities and have access to exceptional lawyers, Chaney’s sentencing will probably be the maximum amount of time allotted. In the plea agreement, prosecutors say that between November of 2010 and October of 2011 Chaney hacked into the accounts of more than 50 members of the entertainment industry. He obtained private communications, photos, business contracts, scripts and other information from his victims, prosecutors say. According to the plea agreement he forwarded some of the private photos to another hacker and two gossip websites. The day after he was arrested, Chaney told a Jacksonville, Florida TV station that he became addicted to prying into the affairs of celebrities and apologized.”I was almost relieved months ago when they the FBI came and took my computer … because I didn’t know how to stop,” Chaney told the TV station. As sad as his confession is, what he did was wrong. Counseling may be needed in order for him to break his addiction to internet hacking and spying. I have always questioned how celebrity private photos are leaked and broadcasted over the internet but now I understand. All it takes is for one person to learn how to obtain internet account information. This case has shown me how important it is to not e-mail, text, or upload any photo that you would not want someone else to see.


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