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Spy On Boss's PC. Go to Jail

Monday, May 15, 2006, 04:01 PM (PST)

Our colleague Bob McMillan over at the IDG News Service tells us that a former U.S. government security auditor has been sentenced to 10 months in jail and home confinement, after pleading guilty to snooping on his supervisor's computer.

Kenneth Kwak, of Chantilly, Virginia, had already pleaded guilt to gaining unauthorized access to a government computer. He faced a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to Bob.

Kwak was sentenced to five months in prison, to be followed by five months home confinement. He was also ordered to pay $40,000 to the U.S. government and will serve a total of three years of supervised release. Whew, that's a heavy toll, even if he did escape the full five-year maximum.

In his plea, Kwak admitted to snooping on his supervisor's files while working on securing U.S. Department of Education computer systems. Kwak then shared information on his supervisor's e-mail and Internet habits with fellow workers, the U.S. Department of Justice said late last week. And you know you might be tempted to do the same with your own boss if you thought you wouldn't get caught. Think again!

The DOJ previously said that there was no evidence that Kwak made any money from his actions. In fact, he's going to LOSE money on the deal with that fine.

"The prosecution was part of the 'zero tolerance policy' recently adopted by the U.S. Attorney's Office regarding intrusions into U.S. government computer systems," the DOJ statement said.

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