Hacker Weev's Conviction Overturned

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The New York Times reports that a federal appeals court has reversed the conviction of Andrew "Weev" Auernheimer, who was accused of stealing 114,000 iPad users' data from AT&T's Web site in 2010.

Auernheimer was sentenced to 41 months in prison in March 2013, but the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed an appeal in July 2013.

The court's decision was based on the question of whether the trial should have taken place in New Jersey. "Venue in criminal case is more than a technicality; it involves 'matters that touch closely the fair administration of criminal justice and public confidence in it.' ... This is especially true of computer crimes in the era of mass interconnectivity," the decision states [PDF]. "Because we conclude that venue did not lie in New Jersey, we willl reverse the District Court's venue determination and vacate Auernheimer's conviction."

"Today's decision is important beyond Weev's specific case," EFF staff attorney Hanni Fakhoury said in a statement. "The court made clear that the location of a criminal defendant remains an important constitutional limitation, even in today's Internet age."