: An I.T. Political Prisoner.


CubaMark
Aug 8th, 2010, 04:49 PM
Your brain probably thought, after reading the headline, that this was about some lone wolf network dude in Iran, or Saudi Arabia, or China.

Nope. This is the good ol' U.S. of A.

What I can't believe is that this guys pent 755 days awaiting trial, and was not out on bail during that time! Murderers are treated better than this guy!

Political Prisoner Terry Childs (http://rixstep.com/2/1/20100807,00.shtml)

Terry Childs was sentenced to four years in prison for protecting his network. The network of the city of San Francisco. He was protecting it from ego-tripping arse-licking people in management who are to this day totally lacking in IT skills. Terry Childs refused to turn over the network passwords to those jackasses and became IT's first high-profile political prisoner.

Terry Childs was put in jail 755 days ago. That's over two years already sitting in a tangerine coloured jumpsuit as a guest of the government. For doing the right thing - for doing specifically what his charter of employment demanded he do.
And as soon as the airheads got their hands on the network, things started going down. Going down in a network that had run without incident as long as people could remember. Suddenly people's login credentials got printed in court documents. Smart guys alright.

(Rixstep (http://rixstep.com/2/1/20100807,00.shtml)) and here's BusinessWeek's take (http://www.businessweek.com/idg/2010-08-07/network-admin-terry-childs-gets-4-year-sentence.html) on the story.

jfpoole
Aug 8th, 2010, 07:21 PM
I wouldn't exactly call Rixstep a credible source or opinion on this story.

Macfury
Aug 8th, 2010, 08:34 PM
I read both articles and from what I can tell, the guy refused to do what his superiors told him to do--costing the city almost $1 million by refusing. He's no political prisoner, just a guy who grandstanded instead of doing as he was asked.

eMacMan
Aug 8th, 2010, 09:38 PM
I think if we read between the lines, the likely reason the superior wanted the passwords was so he could fire the employee.

However at some point it makes more sense to just turn it over, quit, and laugh like mad as viruses and hackers clobber the system.

Another thought is that any system this large should have at least two IT types with full access. People do go on vacation or get hurt in accidents.

Macfury
Aug 8th, 2010, 10:34 PM
I think if we read between the lines, the likely reason the superior wanted the passwords was so he could fire the employee.

However at some point it makes more sense to just turn it over, quit, and laugh like mad as viruses and hackers clobber the system.


Sounds more than likely. Passing him off as some sort of hero is a sad business. He's an ordinary prisoner, not a political prisoner.

Amiga2000HD
Aug 8th, 2010, 11:40 PM
I'm supposed to feel sorry for an IT guy that's in jail? I'm sorry, but as far as I'm concerned, there should be a lot more useless IT guys sitting in the slammer.

Macfury
Aug 9th, 2010, 02:22 AM
I'm supposed to feel sorry for an IT guy that's in jail? I'm sorry, but as far as I'm concerned, there should be a lot more useless IT guys sitting in the slammer.

If the guy had refused to hand over the keys to an IT system he was running on behalf of a group of left-wing "activists" they'd have been calling for his head on a platter.

i-rui
Aug 9th, 2010, 03:21 AM
it's kind of insane that he got jail time. why would any large scale government office or company have only ONE person who knew the admin password, and not have any hard copy (perhaps in a safe)?? That's just poor planning and management.

what if the dude died? would the network be forever inaccessible?

Macfury
Aug 9th, 2010, 03:31 AM
it's kind of insane that he got jail time. why would any large scale government office or company have only ONE person who knew the admin password, and not have any hard copy (perhaps in a safe)?? That's just poor planning and management.

what if the dude died? would the network be forever inaccessible?

Poor planning on the city's part... and $900,000 worth of damages on dude's part.

bsenka
Aug 9th, 2010, 06:12 AM
Another thought is that any system this large should have at least two IT types with full access. People do go on vacation or get hurt in accidents.

I think there is a LOT more to this story than both sides are telling, because it makes no sense that one person even could have sole control over a system of that magnitude.

Chealion
Aug 9th, 2010, 12:31 PM
Given from the article I've read from one of the jurors ([NetworkWorld](Terry Childs juror explains why he voted to convict (http://www.networkworld.com/news/2010/042910-terry-childs-juror-explains-why.html))) - it's pretty clear he broke the law. As for the very high bail ($5 million) that kept him in jail - I guess we can only ask the judge why he thought Terry Childs was such a credible threat to make sure he was kept behind bars until trial.

I wouldn't count Rixstep as a credible source for well... anything.

Puccasaurus
Aug 9th, 2010, 01:35 PM
The rixstep article is an insult to real political prisoners around the world. And it's written by someone who sounds like they churned it out for their elementary school student newspaper.

As far as I can tell, Childs refused to hand over the password to the city's network. Who cares if they are incompetent -- it's their network, not "his" -- to run into the ground if they want. I'm sure there are appropriate and more efficient methods of fixing the problem than making some foolish stand. Heck, do what Munir Sheikh did and resign if you're so upset with your bosses.

If you want a real political prisoner try Benazir Bhutto or Aung San Suu Kyi.

eMacMan
Aug 9th, 2010, 01:46 PM
it's kind of insane that he got jail time. why would any large scale government office or company have only ONE person who knew the admin password, and not have any hard copy (perhaps in a safe)?? That's just poor planning and management.

what if the dude died? would the network be forever inaccessible?

Overall very bad reporting on this one. That of course is hardly new(s).

On a network that large the only way he was the only one with full admin access, is if he went in and changed all of the admin passwords over a short period of time.

In that case; The Powers That Be, no matter how much more incompetent than usual, were entirely justified in demanding that he hand over the passwords.

screature
Aug 9th, 2010, 02:05 PM
The rixstep article is an insult to real political prisoners around the world. And it's written by someone who sounds like they churned it out for their elementary school student newspaper.

As far as I can tell, Childs refused to hand over the password to the city's network. Who cares if they are incompetent -- it's their network, not "his" -- to run into the ground if they want. I'm sure there are appropriate and more efficient methods of fixing the problem than making some foolish stand. Heck, do what Munir Sheikh did and resign if you're so upset with your bosses.

If you want a real political prisoner try Benazir Bhutto or Aung San Suu Kyi.

100% agree!! Childs is not a political prisoner in any way shape or form.

CubaMark, you sometimes post interesting stories but the Rixstep article is just a joke. Completely biased and incredibly unprofessional in it's writing. The Business Week article is much, much better.

I have to admit that 4 years seems like a helluva sentence especially if he has to pay compensation to the tune of $900,000. Obviously they are setting a precedent here for any other IT ego maniac, that if you pull this sort of crap, there will be a heavy price to be paid.

Amiga2000HD
Aug 9th, 2010, 02:17 PM
If the guy had refused to hand over the keys to an IT system he was running on behalf of a group of left-wing "activists" they'd have been calling for his head on a platter.

I don't know where you get left/right wing political ideas out of my post and my general disdain for Information-we-can't-do-anything-Technology people.

eMacMan
Aug 9th, 2010, 08:37 PM
I would say both articles were very poorly researched.

The incredibly obvious question as to why there was only one guy with admin access to a network that big was not addressed by either report.

rgray
Aug 9th, 2010, 09:27 PM
The guy was an EMPLOYEE. He had absolutely no right whatsoever to do what he did. The right/left stuff is just bullcrap.

If an employee of mine refused to hand over the password(s), etc. to my organizations network (s)he'd be fired, sued and prosecuted immediately. Hell, if he/she set up the network with only a single admin, they'd be fired for that too.

kps
Aug 9th, 2010, 10:16 PM
The guy was an EMPLOYEE. He had absolutely no right whatsoever to do what he did. The right/left stuff is just bullcrap.

If an employee of mine refused to hand over the password(s), etc. to my organizations network (s)he'd be fired, sued and prosecuted immediately. Hell, if he/she set up the network with only a single admin, they'd be fired for that too.

^^^^exactly that^^^^

CubaMark
Aug 9th, 2010, 10:26 PM
CubaMark, you sometimes post interesting stories but the Rixstep article is just a joke. Completely biased and incredibly unprofessional in it's writing. The Business Week article is much, much better.

Screature: SOMEtimes? You wound me... ;)

Seriously though - I'm falling on the side of the law here - this guy certainly isn't the hero some in the world of geekdome have made him out to be. However - I still can't wrap my head around the $5-million dollar bail, and two years in prison waiting for the trail. That just seems excessive.

Macfury
Aug 9th, 2010, 11:06 PM
I don't know where you get left/right wing political ideas out of my post and my general disdain for Information-we-can't-do-anything-Technology people.

I didn't get left/right out of your post. I meant that the writer of the piece in Rixstep would have thought differently if someone had stolen his admin password, or the password of some group he supported, "on principle"

screature
Aug 10th, 2010, 09:55 AM
Screature: SOMEtimes? You wound me... ;)

Seriously though - I'm falling on the side of the law here - this guy certainly isn't the hero some in the world of geekdome have made him out to be. However - I still can't wrap my head around the $5-million dollar bail, and two years in prison waiting for the trail. That just seems excessive.

:lmao: Ok fair enough, you often post interesting articles... better now? ;)

Yep the two years waiting for trial was nuts. $5 million bail is because I presume he was considered to be a high flight risk...