Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Julie Amero Sentencing Delayed Again

No, I haven't forgotten about Julie Amero.

Her sentencing has been delayed again, to enable the world - and in particular, the global news media - to forget about this ongoing travesty of justice taking place in Norwich, Connecticut (and, a cynic might say, to prevent certain security executives from showing, up pre-sentencing, armed with spyware examples and malicious javascript demonstrations).

For those unaware of the situation, Julie Amero, a 40 year old married, pregnant, former substitute teacher at CT's Kelly Middle School has been found guilty of child endangerment because a computer she was operating displayed pornography to her students after she clicked on a disguised hyperlink to a Ukrainian porn site and triggered a javascript popup loop.

Despite the fact that the above events have now been examined and well-documented beyond any reasonable doubt, Amero faces the potential of a forty year jail term at the sentencing.

Had Amero been piloting a school bus with failing brakes that day, rather than a PC, and ended up with her kids in a ditch, she may have been awarded a medal after going for help (which she did) - and the court may have seen fit to haul the mechanic that last looked at the brakes up for questioning.

None of that happened in this case. The one technical expert called was dismissed midway through his testimony, and the fact that the school computers had not been updated for years did not even make it into the record.

Amero was fired because of this. The school's IT guy (i.e. the brake mechanic) has yet to receive even a slap on the wrist for not doing his job and protecting the school's computers - a task that other school IT directors across the country manage extremely well.

Will Julie Amero get forty years for unsuccessfully fighting a piece of malicious javascript? Will the new judge refuse to be swayed by the Norwich Bulletin's pro-prosecution journalism? Will common sense - or the governor - save the day?

Mark your calendars, global news media folks - the new sentencing date is set for June 6th. That's just a couple of weeks from now. Stay tuned, and stay alert - years from now, this may be seen as a landmark case, in the spirit of another trial that took place just up the road in the village of Salem in 1692.

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