A man who helped the State of Florida safeguard their online voting records registration has pleaded ‘no contest’ to charges of hacking. He is likely to be sentenced to two years probation but will avoid felony charges on his record. The defendant said his actions were an effort to point out the weaknesses in Florida’s voter registration security. If some guy from the street can change the Governor’s voter registration record, then what’s to stop the Russians from doing it do? Hence why many believe the man is a hero. Nonetheless, his good deed will be punished. The terms of his probation are unclear, but electronic monitoring, house arrest, and denial of access to computers are typical in cases like this. The defendant is likely to be assigned 100 hours of community service and will be required to repay the state for their investigation.
The Governor is not happy
Hackers generally live in accord with their own set of morals that sometimes, while perhaps not being evil, are still crimes under the law. While the hacker had a net benefit consequence on the state of Florida, the Governor remains unimpressed by his sacrifice. The Governor rejected a request to drop the charges. The prosecution was forced to move forward and the hacker pleaded ‘no contest’ which is less than an admission of guilt, but more than a plea of innocence.
Meanwhile, defense attorneys for the defendant attempted to subpoena Ron DeSantis, but the presiding judge refused to enforce the order.
Your voting records are now safer
The hacker instructed the government on how to use a $300 laptop to break into Florida’s voting records. He showed them how he had access to Senator Rick Scott’s voting records and those of notable celebrities like Michael Jordan. However, Governor DeSantis only discovered that his voting records had been changed after he tried to vote days before the election. The address of his home was changed to that of a minor YouTube celebrity. The issue was corrected immediately and DeSantis was able to cast his vote without issue.
Meanwhile, the hacker made no effort to cover his tracks or even use a VPN to spoof his IP. The IP address was traced back to his family’s home and he was later arrested for digital trespass and altering a voter registration form, both of which are felonies.
Once agents showed up at his door, the hacker was more than happy to tell them how he conducted the crime. Pleading ‘no contest’ to the charges was a symbolic stance that showed he believed he did nothing wrong. However, the government doesn’t like freelance pen testers making them look like idiots, which is exactly what happened here. Luckily, the hacker’s actions were seen in context. No harm, no foul.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have conducted any freelance pen-testing without the consent of the tested, you may just need a West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney. Call The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today and allow us to begin preparing your defense immediately.