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Crime

Former Cal State Student Gets Year In Prison For Rigging Campus Election 135

Posted by timothy
from the do-son-of-sam-laws-apply-after-that? dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from ABC News: "A former student was sentenced to a year in prison for rigging his school elections at California State University-San Marcos so he could become student president, court documents show. Matthew Weaver, 22, was charged in January with wire fraud, access device fraud and unauthorized access to a computer. He pleaded guilty in March, admitting that he had stolen the email passwords of more than 740 students and used them to vote for himself 630 times during the student elections in March 2012... Right before the voting ended, on March 15, 2012, officials noticed 259 votes coming from another IP address. Officials tracked the IP address to a classroom, and found Weaver sitting there. There was only one other student in the lab, according to court documents. A university police officer arrested Weaver and seized his bag, subsequently discovering that he had stashed the keyloggers there."
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Former Cal State Student Gets Year In Prison For Rigging Campus Election

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  • What? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19, 2013 @09:21PM (#44334303)

    Dupe:

    http://it.slashdot.org/story/13/07/17/1455204/former-student-gets-year-in-prison-for-college-president-election-fraud

    • Re:What? (Score:5, Funny)

      by sourceholder (1478387) on Friday July 19, 2013 @09:24PM (#44334313)
      Apparently he rigged the /. submission system as well.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Apparently he rigged the /. submission system as well.

        The guy is a unskilled script kiddie dumbass cockmuncher who did everything the most stupid way possible. Even the incompetent campus rent-a-cops caught him redhanded and that's just insulting.

        Protip: if you are running for an election and suddenly tons of votes for you come in, from the same source, in the same timeframe, and only you stand to gain from it, then ... uhm gee, i wonder who they'll suspect? Stupid stupid stupid. Drastically improving his chances would have been trivial.

    • Re:What? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19, 2013 @09:26PM (#44334329)

      Dupe, dupe, dupe,
      Dupe of URL
      Dupe, dupe,
      Dupe of URL
      Yes, oh, I, I'm gonna link you
      Nothing can stop me now
      'Cause I'm the Dupe of URL...

    • by msauve (701917)
      Dupe? Nope. It's from timothy. Dope.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 19, 2013 @09:28PM (#44334347)

    Really. All this work for a lousy student government election which in the real world means absolutely nothing!?!

    He should have remembered that episode of the Simpsons where Bart runs for class president and loses.

    Homer: Bart, does the class president get paid?
    Bart: No.
    Homer: Does he have to do extra work?
    Bart: Yes.
    Homer: And is this Martin Prince going to get to do anything neat, like throw out the first ball at the World Series?
    Bart: Hell no!
    Homer: So let the baby have his bottle! That is what I always tell myself.
    Bart: Thanks, Dad.

    • by dj245 (732906) on Friday July 19, 2013 @09:54PM (#44334427) Homepage

      Really. All this work for a lousy student government election which in the real world means absolutely nothing!?!

      He should have remembered that episode of the Simpsons where Bart runs for class president and loses.

      Homer: Bart, does the class president get paid? Bart: No.

      This position had a large stipend attached. $8000 is a lot for a student. I don't know why the summaries never mention this. I guess it makes for more controversy when it is fraud for something rather meaningless rather than plain old fraud for cash.

      • And still no senior bankers in jail.
        • by causality (777677) on Friday July 19, 2013 @10:44PM (#44334649)

          And still no senior bankers in jail.

          They own the jail. And the courts. And the legislature. And if you want to run for office you take their money and probably not directly from their hands.

          So no, none of them in jail.

          • Not to troll or flamebait, but I have trouble believing this. They do control a fair bit of it, but I think significant portion of the US debt is owned by China. I always wonder what would happen if suppliers of credit dried up for the US.
          • by Mashiki (184564)

            They own the jail. And the courts. And the legislature. And if you want to run for office you take their money and probably not directly from their hands.

            So no, none of them in jail.

            Atypical /. poster that doesn't know the difference between illegal, and unethical. In turn, doesn't know that many of said changes were made by government in the first place which allowed things to happen. Following with that, banks used the system in place. So you end up with: Illegal no, unethical yes.

            • by causality (777677)

              They own the jail. And the courts. And the legislature. And if you want to run for office you take their money and probably not directly from their hands.

              So no, none of them in jail.

              Atypical /. poster that doesn't know the difference between illegal, and unethical. In turn, doesn't know that many of said changes were made by government in the first place which allowed things to happen. Following with that, banks used the system in place. So you end up with: Illegal no, unethical yes.

              Actually the point was that we would have a stronger nation and a better world if there were more overlap and less distinction between illegal and unethical.

              And you may wish to brush up on your own history there. The bankers have a long history of trying to control the nation's currency, beginning with Andrew Jackson (who was shot in a pointless duel), again with Abe Lincoln (who was assassinated after issuing interest-free greenbacks), and finally succeeded with the current Federal Reserve system. Inc

            • Except for Jon Corzine who stole the money of people who had invested through his company to attempt to make back the money he had lost because he didn't get out of the market soon enough (I think he stayed in the market for certain European government bonds too long and lost a lot of money after everybody else knew to be out of that market).
              • I'd say it was more like he bet the EU would bail out the Italian bankers, but didn't have the liquidity to see it through. He would have made out like a bandit, but had to liquidate his position at the worst time. /Nelson Ha Ha!

          • by b4upoo (166390)

            Big bankers really are an issue. Just as one man said if we start arresting crooks in business there might be no nation left at all. Detroit city employees are about to become severely harmed victims. Why we have a system that allows pension funds not to be transferred every pay day in such a way that the failure of a city or business is in itself corrupt. After all if any interest is earned at all on those pension funds it should all go to the pensioner. Therefore the city never had any reason n

        • And still no senior bankers in jail.

          Because senior bankers have lawyers who tell them what is legal and what is not legal. And the bankers stay on the smart side of legal (except the ones who don't, like Madoff).

          Legal isn't the same as ethical. Bankers keep it legal.

      • by mysidia (191772)

        This position had a large stipend attached. $8000 is a lot for a student. I don't know why the summaries never mention this. I guess it makes for more controversy when it is fraud for something rather meaningless rather than plain old fraud for cash.

        It sounds like a heck of a lot of money to me too; and i'm a pro software engineer, not a student.

        However; I don't live in California. After factoring in cost of living, the stipend paid to someone living in Long beach CA is probably equivalent to

      • by Seumas (6865)

        And he was caught, so he never got the money. He should have been expelled and nothing more. This wasn't a government election. It was just some douchy kid rigging a meaningless school election it is pretty gross that it got this far.

        • by KGIII (973947)

          I wondered who would be the first to suggest that breaking the law should have no legal consequences. Congratulations - it is you. Why is it that you think it's okay to break the law - especially a just law. Or would you like to argue that stealing passwords with keyloggers is justified? I'm a bit curious, seriously. Where do your ethics come from on this? What makes you think that violating a law, a good law, should be ignored by the justice system?

          • by Seumas (6865)

            It comes from reality and the fact that this idiot didn't steal people's identities and charge up their credit lines or anything else and the only things he applied this idiocy to was a meaningless school election. He's an idiot and what he did was shitty and in the real world, it would have real implications and should be punished. Colleges have established plenty of precedence for exceptions to things that happen on campus or by students not being treated as if it is the "real world", so why suddenly pick

            • Wasn't there $8000 up for grabs here?

              I agree than punishment should be weighted by type of crime and severity. Whether one would steal a bottle of coke or a flat screen TV, it's theft. In the sense of sentencing, having low aspirations shouldn't excuse the core act.

            • by KGIII (973947)

              He STOLE their credentials in an effort to win $8000. I'd have given him probation and community service if I were the judge.

    • Really. All this work for a lousy student government election which in the real world means absolutely nothing!?!

      He should have remembered that episode of the Simpsons where Bart runs for class president and loses.

      Homer: Bart, does the class president get paid?
      Bart: No.

      In this case the class president gets $8,000 a year.

    • As an example a state university in florida will have 20-30000 students and a student government budget in the millions. A budget bigger than some small cities.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        As an example a state university in florida will have 20-30000 students and a student government budget in the millions. A budget bigger than some small cities.

        Holy fuck, that's a huge variance! I wish I was one of the twenty, though. Unless there were only twenty because global warming flooded Florida.

        [I know he meant 20k-30k]

        • As an example a state university in florida will have 20-30000 students and a student government budget in the millions. A budget bigger than some small cities.

          Holy fuck, that's a huge variance! I wish I was one of the twenty, though. Unless there were only twenty because global warming flooded Florida.

          [I know he meant 20k-30k]

          Modded you funny. You earned it.

          .

          .

          .

          .

          .

          .

          .

          [Well, I would if I had mod points.]

        • by voss (52565)

          I would have modded you funny too....but that would get rid of my comment...and create a temporal paradox ;-)

  • & people wonder (Score:3, Interesting)

    by toby (759) on Friday July 19, 2013 @09:33PM (#44334365) Homepage Journal
    Why it is a social problem that there is no accountability whatsoever for the crimes and deceptions and election rigging of the rich, famous, well-connected, political dynasties and the One Party.
  • You can only rig real elections and get away with it; not campus elections.

    Because a campus is so small, and everyone knows if you cheat a little.

  • Obama: "Matthew Weaver rigged an election to steal an office. He could have been me."
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I doubt it will be long before we see leaks of NSA election rigging, there's already a few dodgy ones, Spanish leader resigning over leaked SMS's, NZ leader stepped down over leaked emails, in lots of cases, the new guy is a US poodle.

      So I wonder how many times their black ops has been involved in US politics (well apart from the Nixon years, and Reagan and his Iran arms sales, and probably Bush and the dodgy Florida election since his dad is ex CIA chief.

  • by Zargg (1596625) on Friday July 19, 2013 @10:10PM (#44334497)

    there were officials sitting and watching the electronic tally in real time, with the IP addresses attached even, and they were able to spot it and track the IP to the physical location and get there before he was done. Am I the only one surprised at the level of security for a student election? I guess it has been a problem before, since they had this whole system set up for this...

    • there were officials sitting and watching the electronic tally in real time, with the IP addresses attached even, and they were able to spot it and track the IP to the physical location and get there before he was done. Am I the only one surprised at the level of security for a student election? I guess it has been a problem before, since they had this whole system set up for this...

      Students aren't yet jaded, and those interested in politics take a very active part in it (and are often computer savvy as well, being young).

      • by Seumas (6865)

        Students are idiots. They should be disabused of this bullshit early on. Otherwise you end up with these fucking twats running out there every election (usually their first or second one, ever) and believing that after 230 years of this government and some 45 presidents -- the one they're going to vote for THIS time is finally going to be the GOOD one that totally fixes EVERYTHING.

        Frankly, good on this kid and shame on those treating it like anything more than an expulsion-worthy triviality. He treated the

        • by KGIII (973947)

          You're missing the point. The point isn't that he rigged the election - the point is that he STOLE all those passwords. If he'd just rigged the election then, fuck yeah, kick his ass out of school. But he didn't just rig the election, he stole the passwords from an assload of students. That, right there, is a crime (and is a justified crime, not some bullshit crime that shouldn't be a criminal act) and that's why he's sitting in jail for... Well, probably 6 to 9 months realistically.

          • by Seumas (6865)

            Sorry, but I simply can't agree that it should be a crime punishable by prison time. As I posted elsewhere, what he did with the passwords absolutely has to weigh in on the impact of his crime and the extent of his punishment. If he used these stolen logins to commit serious crimes and do serious harm to students, then by all means, stick him in jail. ... but rigging a shitty school election? What is wrong with expulsion by the school and community service by the state? *Maybe* with a year of probation or s

            • by KGIII (973947)

              I'd have given him probation, as I mentioned, but attempting to rig an election by stealing credentials AND get $8000 for his trouble is certainly criminal. This isn't trivial. This deserves punishment. Assuming it is his first offense I'd say any time in jail is a bit much UNLESS he violates probation or fails to finish the many many hours of community service I'd sentence him to if I were the judge. But this is hardly trivial and you know it.

          • by Seumas (6865)

            By the way, I should clarify that I'm not saying "good on this kid" for perpetrating this, exactly, but good on him for treating it as the joke that it is (because you know how fucking painfully seriously much of the student body of many schools -- not even just colleges) take the whole student government bullshit.

            • by KGIII (973947)

              Good on him for screwing up his life by attempting to steal $8000 and going to jail - ruining his entire life? You've got some strange ethics.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        well obviously they should be a bit more jaded - and being computer savvy they should understand that either they have no voting confideliaty at all or their computer voting system is rigged.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      there were officials sitting and watching the electronic tally in real time, with the IP addresses attached even, and they were able to spot it and track the IP to the physical location and get there before he was done.

      Sometimes IT admins have little better to do, and they understand about students abusing resources... they may have been watching for security reasons and noticed something anomolous; suddenly a massive amount of activity from one IP that just happened to be an on-campus IP.

      The cl00bi

    • Am I the only one surprised at the level of security for a student election?

      With $8000 on the line for the winner?

  • You can only rig real politics and get away with it.
    • by KGIII (973947)

      And, to add to this, you NEVER do it yourself. You always have someone else do it so that the blame doesn't fall on you. You keep a few degrees of separation just to ensure your continued career should your actions be found out. Then, after all, it wasn't YOU but it was some overzealous supporter who unfortunately felt the need to break the law because they thought it would help you out and you regret that they did that and you're glad that it didn't actually have any real impact. And you smile nice for the

      • by Seumas (6865)

        It wasn't me, man. I can't be accountable for what some PAC does in my name! :D

  • "That would be impressive, except if you would have known what you were looking for, you would have seen it written on my dorm room window."
  • About not getting caught.
  • And if only he hadn't gotten caught, he'd be on his way to federal office in no time.

  • so.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wbr1 (2538558) on Friday July 19, 2013 @11:58PM (#44334909)
    Aaron Swartz hacks for the dissemination of information. Gets browbeaten and threatned with so much time he kills himself.

    This guy hack for only his own good and gets a year. Nice to know where our prosecutors priorities are.

    • Nice to know where our prosecutors priorities are.

      A completely different set of prosecutors. But hey, why let facts get in the way of a good whine.

    • by mysidia (191772)

      Aaron Swartz hacks for the dissemination of information. Gets browbeaten and threatned with so much time he kills himself. This guy hack for only his own good and gets a year. Nice to know where our prosecutors priorities are.

      Wait... Aaron Swartz didn't hack at all. He had privileges (JSTOR account) that allowed him to access the information he did; his crime was an "abuse" in the form of "overuse"; as in, he downloaded a "large number of articles"; instead of a small number of articles

      • I'm afraid that Aaron did "hack". MIT apparently started requiring logins for JSTOR access when the amount of downloaded material started interfering with JSTOR's servers, and Aaron snuck past the logins and the MAC address logging that was attempted to throttle the traffic. It's not deeply sophisticated hacking, but it's certainly applying computer insights to allow access that has been denied and to evade detection.

    • by Seumas (6865)

      You take school elections way too seriously. They aren't even worth taking a shit on.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        You take school elections way too seriously. They aren't even worth taking a shit on.

        so? it's still X counts of identity theft and computer hacking. bundle them up like aarons charges and it's forever in the pen for the guy..

        • by Seumas (6865)

          And that is exactly the problem with our society. Instead of allowing judges and juries to perform the function they exist for, we want to say that some dipshit stealing 259 passwords to vote in a meaningless school event is the same as stealing 259 people's identities (and though I know this isn't the legal definition, I have a hard time calling it identity theft if what he "took" can't be used to open up lines of credit or acquire state identifications in their names) is exactly as bad as if he were a har

    • Re:so.... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by LF11 (18760) on Saturday July 20, 2013 @04:16AM (#44335671) Homepage

      The particular prosecutor in Aaron Swartz's case (Carmen Ortiz) is a real problem child. She's the one who tried to steal Rus Caswell's motel here in Massachusetts under drug laws even though he was completely innocent of any crime. There are a few sordid items from her career.

    • by b4upoo (166390)

      Although the tactics used were unreasonable the individual remains the one who decided to commit suicide. There is usually no way to know if you are dealing with a person whose grasp of life is positive. When people are depressed they can kill themselves over the slightest, momentary, occurrence. We will never know how the charges and trial would have played out.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      The prosecution is consistent.

      Pirate one $1 song. Get a squillion dollar fine.
      Rig elections for $8000 cash. Get 1yr in prison.
      Steal untold millions in lost potential revenue from the content cartels. Get royally screwed.

      The only problem is the prosecution still doesn't understand the difference between US dollars and the content industry monopoly money that is "lost revenues".

    • by Seumas (6865)

      Was he liberal or conservative?

      Yes.

  • A university police officer arrested Weaver and seized his bag

    I thought only TSA agents did that.

    Oh wait, n/m. I gotcha.

  • Is committing vote fraud in a student election more nefarious than conspiracy to disenfranchise real voters, building insecure voting machines, torture, billions of dollars of bank fraud, or lying to Congress.

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