So assuming this is true, shouldn't the letter of the law be applied to other "denial of service" problems caused by the city while they pursued this case? In particular, the person or persons who released hundreds passwords in public court filings in 2008 be tried for causing a denial of service for the city's widespread VPN services? After all, once the story broke that a large list of usernames and passwords had been released to the public, the city had to take down its VPN services for days while they reset every password and communicated those changes to the users.
The kicker is that the VPN password debacle had immediate and widespread negative effects on the users and clearly caused a service outage, while Childs' actions did not effect users in any way. In light of the Childs decision, it seems to me that this is a chargeable offense, as a service was rendered inoperable due to their actions. You may argue that the release of those documents was a mistake, but people go to prison for mistakes all the time. Negligence is not a defense.
The Slashdot juror concluded his comments:
I am confident that we reached the correct verdict, whether I like it or not.
That may be true, but if so, there are suddenly thousands of IT workers all over the country that are now guilty of this crime in a vast number of ways. If the letter of the law is what convicted Terry Childs, then the law is simply wrong.
This story, "Rough justice for Terry Childs," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in security, and read more of Paul Venezia's The Deep End blog at InfoWorld.com.