Computer Crime Research Center


"Hackah Jak" trial could reveal FBI ties

Date: February 12, 2004
Source: The Enquirer
By: Dan Horn

The criminal case against a well-known computer hacker moved closer to trial Wednesday when a Cincinnati judge refused to dismiss the charges against him.
Jesse Tuttle, better known as "Hackah Jak," is accused of storing child pornography on his computer and is charged with breaking into Hamilton County's computer network.

Tuttle's lawyers had challenged the charges against the 23-year-old Camp Dennison man, arguing that his activities can be explained by his work as a paid informant for the FBI. They said searches of Tuttle's computer were improper because sheriff's investigators failed to disclose the FBI connection to the judge who issued the search warrant.

But in his decision Wednesday, Common Pleas Judge Thomas Crush said investigators were within their rights to pursue their search.

Tuttle's lawyer, Firooz Namei, said he was disappointed in the ruling but is confident his client will be vindicated once he calls FBI agents to testify in court.

The FBI will neither confirm nor deny a connection to Tuttle, but court records and other documents indicate a link between the hacker and the agency.

The question to be decided at trial is whether any work Tuttle might have been doing for the FBI is related to the criminal charges.

Tuttle, who earned international attention for breaking into high-profile government and corporate computer systems, has said he routinely hacked into systems and then provided information about their vulnerability to the FBI.

He claims the pornographic images on his computer were related to his work for the FBI.

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