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Hacker Awaiting Trial Denied Use of Computer

Convicted hacker Kevin David Mitnick will continue to be barred from using a computer in federal lockup, where he is awaiting trial on 25 counts of computer-related fraud and theft, a federal judge ruled Monday.

Mitnick had said he needed a computer to review the evidence against him and assist in his own defense. He had also asked to be released on bail.

Prosecutors argued that he should not have unrestricted access to the evidence, which includes computer burglar tools, because of the nature of his alleged crimes, and because he is a flight risk should not be released on bail.

“I would not presume to imagine what Mitnick would do with a computer,” Assistant U.S. Atty. Chris Painter said.

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Judge Mariana Pfaelzer denied Mitnick’s bail and computer request, according to lawyers on both sides, but ordered prosecutors to come up with an alternative plan to allow Mitnick to review the evidence at another location.

Mitnick was arrested in 1995 in North Carolina after prosecutors said he and a co-defendant went on a two-year “hacking spree,” stealing software from companies, stealing passwords and damaging USC computers. At the time, he was on probation from a 1989 case involving cloned cell phones.


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