Intel 'hacker' sentence expunged

After a battle lasting more than a decade, in early February 2007 an Oregon court gave a clean slate to former Intel contractor Randall Schwartz who was arrested and convicted for bypassing Intel security systems. Schwartz was arrested in 1993 after using a program called "Crack" to find out the passwords of various former colleagues in the Intel Supercomputer Systems Division (SSD). In late 1995, Schwartz was convicted of three counts of computer crime, and ordered to pay Intel $68,000 restitution. His sentence also included five years of probation, 480 hours of community service, and 90 days of deferred (cancellable) jail time. His legal bill exceeded $170,000 by the end of 1995.

Schwartz has argued that his conviction was unfair, as he had not intended to cause any malicious damage. After an appeal, the restitution was dropped in 1999. Schwartz had left SSD under a cloud, and told the court he decided to crack the Intel passwords to show that SSD's security had gone downhill since he had left, and to re-establish respect he said he had lost when he left SSD. In October 2006, Schwartz appealed for clemency from a Democratic governor who "had already granted a few pardons." Schwartz said that it will take a while for him to absorb the result: "Even a few weeks later, I'm still in a bit of shock that I've reached this point in this over-13-year journey. It probably won't fully sink in until the first time I travel freely into Canada, or fill out an contractor form that asks the question about criminal history, or apply for a Small Business Administration program that was formerly unavailable to me."

News source: News.com

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