Accused Network Administrator Still In Jail

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Remember Terry Childs? He was the network administrator for the city of San Francisco who -- claiming he was protecting the city government's computer system from incompetent coworkers -- changed the system's passwords and then for more than a week refused to give them to anyone, even after being arrested.

Childs eventually did give the passwords to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, and was charged with four felony counts, basically of variations on hacking.

Well, it's more than a year later, and Childs is still in jail, without yet having been convicted of anything.

In August, San Francisco Superior Court judge Kevin McCarthy dropped three of the four charges, related to his attaching three modems to the network. The charge associated with his refusing to reveal the passwords stayed.

However, later in the month, Judge Charles Haines refused to lower Childs' $5 million bail, calling him a flight risk (when arrested, he'd been found with a large amount of cash) and a security risk to the San Francisco network.

In comparison, the San Francisco Felony Bail Schedule, which provides bail guidelines for a variety of offenses, lists a $1 million bail for the most serious crimes, such as sexual assault of a child, aggravated arson, or kidnapping for ransom, according to the IDG News Service.

Meanwhile, in January, Childs filed a $3 million lawsuit against the city, including $1 million in compensation for lost wages and benefits, $1 million for emotional stress, $500,000 in attorney fees, and $500,000 in unspecified "special damages."

If convicted, Childs faces up to five years in prison -- assuming, of course, they manage to go to trial and convict him by then.