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Chris Chaney pleads guilty to hacking over 50 celebrities' smartphones for fun and profit

Between November 2010 and October 2011, there were a rash of hacking of high-profile celebrities smartphones.  Starlets like Scarlett Johansson, Christina Aguilera, Mila Kunis had sexually explicit or provocative pictures stolen from their devices and released onto the internet.

In Scarlett Johansson's case fully nude pictures, meant to be seen by then-husband Ryan Reynolds were exposed for the world to see.  She recalls, "I have been truly humiliated and embarrassed."

But intrusions weren't the work of a team of savvy hackers; they were the twisted hobby-horse of a single man, according to federal prosecutors -- Christopher Chaney, a 35-year-old Jacksonville, Fla. resident.

On Monday, justice was served and U.S. District Judge S. James Otero weighed a seemingly remorseful Mr. Chaney versus tearful celebrities like Ms. Johansson, who comments, "I find Christopher Chaney's actions to be perverted and reprehensible."

The federal judge gave the hacker a prison sentence of 10 years after pleading guilty of several criminal counts under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 (18 USC § 1030) -- unauthorized access to a computer and illegal wiretapping.  (In the U.S. only federal agents are allowed to wiretap people.)

Mr. Chaney could have faced a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison, but the sentence he did receive wasn't exactly lenient either.  Prosecutors were only seeking a sentence of 6 years, but Judge Otero was concerned that Mr. Chaney hadn't truly changed his ways and needed longer away from the world of electronics.  According to the Judge, prosecutors presented evidence that Mr. Chaney continued to pursue and harass women online after his arrest in October 2011.

In all, Mr. Chaney's "Operation Hackerazzi" breached the smartphones of 50 Hollywood and music industry celebrities.  But he was also alleged of hacking into some close acquaintances phones, including send a nude picture of a former co-worker to her father.

Chris Chaney
Chris Chaney claims he sorry for all the hacking and denies accusations that he hacked into real-world acquaintances' devices. [Image Source: AP]

Mr. Chaney does not deny hacking the celebrity phones, but was apologetic.  He, however, refused to admit to hacking his acquaintances phones, insisting he never did that.  He comments, "I don't know what else to say other than I'm sorry.  I could be sentenced to never use a computer again and I wouldn't care."

The Judge is quoted as telling him, "It's hard to fathom the mindset of a person who would accomplish all of this.  These types of crimes are as pernicious and serious as physical stalking."

Now he will spend a better part of the next decade of his life behind bars (although he could get out early if gets parole).

Source: AP on Google News

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RE: Hopeless justice
By Belard on 12/18/2012 2:58:31 AM , Rating: 2
The super rich can always buy their way out... that fair, right??

Just like they try (and will do so again) to buy elections out right.
Its the American way.

RE: Hopeless justice
By jmarchel on 12/18/12, Rating: 0
RE: Hopeless justice
By retrospooty on 12/18/2012 9:57:49 AM , Rating: 1
Right, so the guy that was born penniless bought the election out from under the guy that was born a multi-millionaire?

Not that thte election process is good, but its not being "bought". Its done by fooling the dull masses to vote your way. In this particular election Obama did a better job fooling the dull masses.

RE: Hopeless justice
By jmarchel on 12/18/12, Rating: 0
RE: Hopeless justice
By anactoraaron on 12/18/2012 10:44:28 AM , Rating: 3
Democrats, unions and other liberal supporters outspent Republicans by far. You can check the facts.

How about before you tell people to "check the facts", you actually check the facts yourself first?? Karl Rove's American Crossroads super pac and the Koch Brothers and other repub supporters outspent and outfunded the Dems. See this article from the NY Times.

Total Inside and Outside contributions for the Repubs: $1274 Million

Total inside and outside contributions for the dems: $1141 Million

Spending was at about the same margin as funds raised (repubs had more money and spent more).

JAM JAM (whatever the hell that is about)

RE: Hopeless justice
By jmarchel on 12/18/2012 11:10:27 AM , Rating: 1
They don't count soft money like unions for example.

Tell me how much it is worth to have most of the major media working for free for you:

Democrats: ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC.
Republicans: FOX.

How much it is worth to have all major newspapers ?

How about one trillion of "stimulus" spent of friends like Solyndra ?

How about "free" phones giveaway from government ?
How much it is worth not to prosecute illegal immigrants for votes ?
How much it is worth to support racist policies in government contracts and university admissions for votes ?


RE: Hopeless justice
By retrospooty on 12/18/2012 12:36:25 PM , Rating: 5
The real powers that be use the "Divide and conquer" method and you two are illustrating it now. They get us all arguing left v right, reps v dems like you two are and the truth is it doesnt matter. They are all the same BS and feed the same coffers.

RE: Hopeless justice
By Noya on 12/18/2012 3:53:33 PM , Rating: 5
The real powers that be use the "Divide and conquer" method and you two are illustrating it now.

Wow, seems there may be one other non-sheep on this site.

RE: Hopeless justice
By retrospooty on 12/18/2012 6:53:47 PM , Rating: 4
Shhh... If people start listening to us then we wind up mysteriously dead. ;)

RE: Hopeless justice
By Florinator on 12/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: Hopeless justice
By Manch on 12/19/2012 5:40:06 AM , Rating: 5
Difference between Bain Capital and Obama is that Bain uses private equity. Obama uses taxpayer money.

RE: Hopeless justice
By Belard on 12/19/2012 6:23:21 AM , Rating: 2
Which "network" is owned by foreigners... ie: including a Saudi Arabian. (Hint: starts with the letter "F")

There is nothing wrong with having an opinion... there is a serious problem when a "network" makes up stuff and works for/owns a political party.

RE: Hopeless justice
By FaaR on 12/19/2012 7:59:35 AM , Rating: 2
Unions don't have much money to spend, compared to corporate america, which traditionally support the republican party to a greater extent than the democrats, and always have.

No major media - print or televised - in the US is left-leaning: it's all owned and run by large corporations and conglomerates owned and controlled by the super rich, whom again overwhelmingly support and vote the republicans. This is a canard that is as oft-repeated as it is false.

Illegal immigrants aren't allowed to vote in the US, and besides, George Dubya wanted to give them all amnesty anyhow so how is this any different? Just because the republicans are embracing xenophobia now that they're in opposition doesn't change anything one bit.

Also, what "racist" policies are you talking about, and how has anything changed in the four years under Obama compared to eight of Bush? Not one damned thing I bet.

Also, if you want to talk trillions of "stimulus", look no further than the military-industrial complex, whom has profited more than anyone else from a decade of constant republican warfare in foreign nations.

* - Now with nine times the JAM of competing brands!

RE: Hopeless justice
By SandmanWN on 12/21/2012 1:39:29 PM , Rating: 2
what did you smoke this morning?

unions have some pretty swanky golf courses and resorts to be so broke and unable to spend money... There is more than enough dirt on the big unions like UAW and others.

and no left leaning new agencies??? Since when did being super rich mean you were automatically not a Democrat any longer? Do people like Buffet and Immelt only exist to people other than yourself?

yeah ok, must have put the jam in the wrong whole this morning.

RE: Hopeless justice
By Chaser on 12/21/2012 6:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
Illegal immigrants aren't allowed to vote in the US
I just found some fed govt cost savings! Eric Holder and the Department of Justice can stop suing states that are trying to use government issued I.D.s to check voter's eligibility.

RE: Hopeless justice
By toyotabedzrock on 12/18/2012 11:54:47 AM , Rating: 2
They are not totally bought yet. But rich media personalities control what gets reported. And only one side owns a media empire that covers print radio Tv and to some degree the web.

RE: Hopeless justice
By tng on 12/18/2012 10:21:17 AM , Rating: 2
Not that the election process is good, but its not being "bought". Its done by fooling the dull masses to vote your way.
Going deep into conspiracy here, I would think that it takes more than just fooling the dull masses to win. You have to please the super rich who control the media and agree to promote their agenda.

Mitt is wealthy, but not in the class of say, George Sorros or the people who run the IMF. Think about it.

RE: Hopeless justice
By retrospooty on 12/18/2012 10:29:32 AM , Rating: 3
Agreed. But if you are going that far the truth of the matter is that both candidates are bought and paid for by the same entities. The "choice" they give is is just an illusion. Regardless of Obama or Romney, McCain, Bush Clinton, Reagen, whoever won, the same coffers get fed. Divided and conquered - we are.

RE: Hopeless justice
By tng on 12/18/2012 10:46:10 AM , Rating: 1
Regardless of Obama or Romney, McCain, Bush Clinton, Reagen, whoever won, the same coffers get fed. Divided and conquered - we are.
While I will debate whether Regan should be on that list, I have to agree with you.

RE: Hopeless justice
By retrospooty on 12/18/2012 11:22:39 AM , Rating: 4
Come on, if Reagen wasnt on that same list he would have been mysteriously assassinated like the Kennedy's were for not cooperating.

RE: Hopeless justice
By tng on 12/18/2012 11:52:30 AM , Rating: 2
I think that that method went out with Kennedy and the mess that that created.

The new method for taking care of a sitting POTUS is scandal... Do you really think that Nixon ordered the break ins at Watergate?

RE: Hopeless justice
By retrospooty on 12/18/2012 12:28:54 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... Good point. It may just be a last resort.

RE: Hopeless justice
By torpor on 12/18/2012 10:32:17 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, they tried to get Reagan.

Ever hear of the Brady gun control bill? He was injured there, which brought about his POV.

RE: Hopeless justice
By retrospooty on 12/19/2012 12:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
I wass assuming Hinkley was just a nut. If they wanted him deaad he would have been... Unless of course it was just a warning... "Do what we tell you or next time you will wind up dead"


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