IDGNS: What do you think of Terry Childs?
Chilton: I think he's a decent guy. Like many IT people, protective of his work. Possibly a little paranoid. But the problem he had was that he didn't have good management to keep that in check. He was allowed free rein, which allowed engineering decisions over the years that made things worse and worse, and locked people out of possibly getting into this network.
IDG News: Going back, what was the one step he could have done to avoid prison?
Chilton: If he would have simply said, "I will create you an account and you can go in and you can remove my access if you want." If he had created access for someone else, I think that would have resolved it. If he had not decided to leave and go to Nevada a few days later and withdraw US$10,000 in cash, [Childs did this the day before his arrest, while under police surveillance] I think the police may have let it continue on as an employment issue and not a criminal matter.
IDGNS: Do you think Terry Childs deserves another chance?
Chilton: Yes I do. He has a lot of knowledge and he has the ability to learn this stuff on his own. I think with what's happened, he's probably not going to get himself hired by an AT&T or a Bank of America, but he could probably do stuff on his own. Because he definitely has the knowledge.
IDGNS: Do you think he's a trustworthy person?
Chilton: I think for the most part, yes. If he's given clearly defined rules, he could be. I think he's also very stubborn and a little egotistical.