Paypal Hackers Strike Deal with US Federal Prosecutors

Federal prosecutors have arrived at an agreement with 11 people out of the 14 people who were allegedly affiliated with Anonymous, the Hacker group. This Hacker group was arrested in 2011 after carrying out a cyber attack against PayPal.

As part of the agreement, the eleven people are expected to plead guilty. However, the question is if the Justice Department will consent to the deal. Lawyers representing the 11 people indicated that their clients were willing to accept the deal.

Although eleven people are willing to take the plea agreement, the agreement offered by the prosecutors will only be good if 13 defendants are willing to take it and as of Wednesday, there were still two holdouts. The agreement would however not include Denis Collins since earlier this month, he was indicted on other charges that allege that he was the one who helped the group carry out the attack.

It is still not clear if the deal includes jail time. The lawyers are also not willing to divulge any information indicating how confidential the negotiations are. One lawyer referred to the deal as good but fragile and do not say if it included jail time.

As of Wednesday, the attorneys for Tracy Ann Valenzuela, Jeffrey Puglisi and Christopher Quang gave an indication that their clients were taking the deal. The plea negotiations have been on for a couple of months and the lives of the defendants have come to a standstill for over two years. The case has also taken a financial and emotional toll on the defendants.

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act under which the defendants have been charged is under scrutiny considering that stiff penalties were imposed on computer crimes that were considered minor. A number of internet activists indicate that the DDos attacks involving overwhelming of websites with too much data until they crash does not amount to anything, as they are only protests and need to be protected.