U.S. federal appeals court throws out celebrity iPad hacker’s conviction

“A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously threw out the conviction of an Arkansas man for stealing the personal data of about 120,000 Apple iPad users, including big-city mayors, a TV news anchor and a Hollywood movie mogul,” Jonathan Stempel reports for Reuters. “The reason: Prosecutors brought the case in the wrong state.”

“The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the prosecution of Andrew Auernheimer did not belong in New Jersey, hundreds of miles from his alleged crimes, and as a result, his November 2012 conviction and 41-month prison sentence could not stand,” Stempel reports. “Writing for a three-judge panel, Circuit Judge Michael Chagares also admonished prosecutors that the Internet’s ‘ever-increasing ubiquity’ did not give the government carte blanche to prosecute cybercrime wherever it wishes.”

“‘The court merely determined that the Department of Justice brought this case in the wrong state, and we are reviewing our options,’ said Matthew Reilly, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in New Jersey, who handled the prosecution. Auernheimer, 28, has been serving his sentence at a prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, federal records show,” Stempel reports. “Prosecutors said Auernheimer used an ‘account slurper'” to extract data about iPad users from AT&T servers, and then shared information with a reporter for the website Gawker who wrote an article naming some well-known people with compromised emails. Among those affected were ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Accused AT&T-iPad hacker Andrew Auernheimer in plea talks – July 28, 2011
AT&T iPad data hacker faces five years in jail – June 24, 2011
AT&T-iPad hackers’ site hacked – January 27, 2011
Two charged by U.S. prosecutors over iPad hacking via AT&T network – January 18, 2011
U.S. investigators set to press criminal charges over theft of AT&T iPad users’ personal info – January 18, 2011
AT&T apologizes for iPad email breach, blames ‘malicious hackers’ – June 14, 2010


      1. More than likely he/she has no understanding of how US Court system actually works, but maybe a chance to complain despite the facts of law.
        Re DOJ, I have no possible comprehension as to why Apple got hung out to dry on snook fiasco except maybe they weren’t paying off “lawmakers” re Google et al.

  1. The judge should get the 41 month term. 4500 people in New Jersey had a crime committed against them. How in the hell is the location of the offender significant in this kind of crime?

    And the minimum term should have been 4500 years. One year for each crime. A few sentences like that will reduce cyber theft. And allow no probation. Make the first offense a mandatory 6 months for each violation and 10 years probation. Second offense, no probation, 1 year per offense, no parole.

    1. Actually, the original judge who heard the trial should get a term on the dunce chair in the corner. This is a dead simple mistake that should have never slipped past his judginess. It’s part of their job make certain that a trial is being held in the correct jurisdiction.

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