In the story we recently covered where Terry Childs had locked San Fransisco officials out of their own network, there is a new development.
He’s handed over the passcode to the Mayor, Gavin Newsom. It seems he came to his senses and he also seems to have VERY little faith in the IT administration for the SF government network.
“The first thing I want you to know, Mr. Mayor, is that when you walk out of this room, you will have the computer codes.”
Those words – delivered to Mayor Gavin Newsom by imprisoned city computer tech Terry Childs in a small, fourth-floor room at city jail Monday – signaled the beginning of the end of the weeklong standoff in which San Francisco officials found themselves in the embarrassing position of being locked out of their own computer system.
Childs – whom some have described as a friendly, hard worker at the city Technology Department, and others have labeled an over-the-top control freak – has been sitting in jail since July 13 on $5 million bail, after being arrested for reconfiguring key passwords in the city’s computer system.
He handed the details over without too much trouble or persuasion by the looks of it, I guess he realised he was actually in quite serious trouble and he should comply or face a stiff sentence.
He might the right choice I think.
A team of code crackers brought in from Cisco Systems had been working around the clock to try to decipher Childs’ codes, but with only marginal success.
“It wasn’t cheap and I just couldn’t see us keep spending that kind of money,” Newsom said.
Then, out of the blue, Childs’ lawyer, Erin Crane, called the mayor’s office Monday afternoon, offering a jailhouse meeting.
Childs, according to the lawyer, was ready to give up the codes – but only to the mayor, who had gone out of his way in his public comments not to portray Childs as some sort of monster.
Newsom didn’t hesitate. Without asking the city attorney for an opinion or giving a heads up to police or the district attorney, he was at the Hall of Justice in half an hour.
Well at least we can have faith in our Cisco equipment, even the Cisco guys themselves can’t crack it so there’s no backdoor!
It’ll be interesting to see how this case develops and what happens to Mr Childs after this.