Blog Jay Leiderman Law

October 21, 2015

In re Matthew Keys

To Whom You May Concern:

Along with Tor Ekeland and Mark Jaffe, I represent Mr. Keys in a criminal court case involving convictions for violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA” 18 USC section 1030).  Mr. Keys is a journalist and maintains that he was in a chatroom with high level hacktivists in order to get the first story about the “Anonymous Phenomenon” which led to the “Nerd Scare.”  He was convicted of passing login credentials to log into the Tribune Company’s publishing system.  We are soliciting letters concerning how you view Mr. Keys’ conviction and how you believe the court should deal with him.  The letter will be read by the judge, probation officer, the prosecutor and other court personnel.  You are also free to post your letters in the comments section of this post so that it can be read by the public.

If you personally know Mr. Keys or his work your letter should include information about Mr. Keys’s character, integrity, accomplishments, interests, relationships, interaction with and treatment of other people, and your personal and/or professional relationship with Mr. Keys.  Please tell the reader how long you have known Mr. Keys, how you know Mr. Keys along with your impressions of Mr. Keys.  If there are specific anecdotes that will help the reader develop a better picture of Mr. Keys, I encourage you to share those.

If you do not personally know Mr. Keys or if you are not familiar with his journalism, and write to discuss the war on journalism, the unfairness of the prosecution or the barbaric CFAA, please do so.  We are encouraging letters of this sort such that the reader is aware of the problems that this case presents.  Please be as specific as possible when discussing why you are writing your letter.  For more information about Mr. Keys conviction I encourage you to read articles here, here, here, here and here. Why Mr. Keys’ case might set a legal precedent is discussed here. An article by Mr. Keys that discusses his case can be found here.

It is a good idea to include a brief description of you:  your occupation, activities in which you might be involved that might have any relation at all to this case and any other points which will establish your identity and your ability to advise the court about Mr. Keys – whether you know him or not.

Moreover, I encourage you to advise the court if you believe that Mr. Keys has the ability to lead a crime free life in the future. Please support your conclusions with the reasons you believe that Mr. Keys will have a crime-free future.  If you are able, please detail how this case has impacted Mr. Keys and his family and how you believe it will impact his future.  Since this is not an effort to mislead or create a false impression, you are encouraged to write an honest, straightforward word portrait of Mr. Keys.  Do not hesitate to write from the heart, and/or emphasize anything you feel is important.  One of the goals of your letter is to enable the reader to see Mr. Keys through your eyes.

It is best to write in plain, every day, conversational language, as if you were speaking to the reader.  If possible, your letter should be typed, and, if appropriate, on business stationary, and addressed to me.  An ideal letter is about one page in length.  Please do not exceed one and one half pages as there will hopefully be many letters for the judge to read.  I will deliver it to the parties that will be reading it.

Your assistance in this extremely important matter will be appreciated.  If you have any questions about this request, please contact me via email:

Letters that you wish to be considered for the pre-sentence report must be received by me no later than the close of business on November 3, 2015.  My contact information is below. If you have time to mail me an original of the letter that is best, but email attachments, emails themselves and faxes are just fine as well. Thank you again for your interest and participation in this important matter.



Jay Leiderman

Attorney for Mr. Keys

5740 Ralston St. 300
Ventura, California 93003
805-654-0280 fax




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