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Hacker loses name suppression

Published: 6:22PM Wednesday October 19, 2005 Source: One News

A Dunedin university lecturer who hacked into a US company's computer has finally been outed after an 18 month battle to keep his name suppressed.

Timothy Molteno, 38, was the first person caught under new computer crime laws. The senior lecturer in physics at Otago University pleaded guilty 18 months ago, but wanted his name permanently suppressed.

Molteno had been employed as a software writer for US online shopping company buymusichere.com. But he fell out with CEO Bob Lee and subsequently hacked into the site from Dunedin - deleting and destroying data.

Two months ago Molteno was convicted and sentenced to 200 hours community work and ordered to pay $12,000 to buymusichere.com. Lawyer Judith Ablett-Kerr wanted him discharged without conviction and appealed, saying it wasn't fair to publish Molteno's name.

"Those who might have the impression that this man is a high achieving... one of New Zealand's tall poppies who has just sailed through this... they are quite wrong," Kerr said in court on Wednesday.

She argued publishing his name would be stressful and confusing because other family members have the same surname. It was also argued that it would cause problems for the university where he worked.

However, the appeal judge said even though the offending was out of character the conviction was appropriate and his name should be published.

Buymusichere.com CEO Bob Lee is happy with the outcome.

"Part of being held accountable is having to face the rest of the world... and acknowledge the fact that you've done it," he says.

Internet experts are also pleased with the decision.

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