A San Francisco system administrator has been sentenced to four years imprisonment after being convicted of locking other authorised users out of the city's network.
Terry Childs developed an alternate set of passwords to prevent other administrators from accessing the city’s network, which he had been responsible for creating.
According to Mercury News 45 year-old Childs changed passwords of the city's administrative computer system, FiberWAN network, and refused to allow other officials access to the network for a period of 12 days in July 2008.
Following the intervention of the mayor, Childs eventually gave up the passwords.
In his defence, Childs stated that his immediate senior supervisor, Department of Technology and Information Services Chief Operations Officer Richard Robinson, was not qualified enough to be given access to the system.
Childs' attorney Richard Shikman said: "He clearly is not a hacker. The state's case is based on a theory which needs to be tested on appeal. The case stands as a metaphor for both human folly and human achievement."