Sheriff Chris Nocco of the Pasco County, Florida, Sheriff's office isn't all that concerned that his department is being mocked across the country.
Last week, we told you about the department's decision to charge a 14-year-old hacker mastermind with a felony after he infiltrated his school's network and put hundreds of lives in danger.
And what I mean by that is he figured out the password by looking over a teacher's shoulder, logged in, and set some softcore porn as a teacher's desktop background.
More context from our previous coverage:
Hacker extraordinaire Domanik Green, 14, has been charged with offense against a computer system and unauthorized access after he “logged onto the school’s network on March 31 using an administrative-level password without permission. He then changed the background image on a teacher’s computer to one showing two men kissing.
The sophisticated hack that allowed Green access to the impregnable system involved looking over a teacher’s shoulder and watching her type the password. It turned out to be the last name of a teacher at the school. Edward Snowden weeps.
One of the main points of contention for authorities is that one of the computers Green ‘hacked’ contained FCAT questions on it. Green didn’t access or alter these files, however.
“Even though some might say this is just a teenage prank, who knows what this teenager might have done,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said.
Thoughtcrimes leader and amateur future teller Chris Nocco is standing by his decision, despite ridicule from all corners of the internet.
From the Tampa Bay Times:
Nocco is sticking to his guns. Green was suspended from school for three days for similar activity back in October, and the sheriff said it was obvious he hadn't learned his lesson.
"I think, unfortunately, when the story's being told in other (publications), they're not talking about the fact that he committed this crime previously," Nocco said Monday. "We enforce the law. And if we don't enforce the law, nobody else will."
Also, he said, the crime with which Green is charged is deemed a felony by the state Legislature. If people want to change it, they can write lawmakers, he said.
Write your congressperson, folks. Nothing we can do about it now. Change the law if you're mad.
People are mad, for sure. Here's a sampling of posts currently sitting on the Pasco County Sheriff's Facebook page:
– Felony charges because of what a 14 year old kid 'might have done?' Since when do we charge people based on the seriousness of crimes they 'might' commit. Your county sucks.
– What has become of our society when felony charges are given for a harmless prank? We don't live in the realm of "what if". "who knows what this teenager MIGHT have done" -Sheriff Chris Nocco. I sincerely hope that this gets laughed out of court.
– Missing children. Unsolved murders. And yet, you guys are arresting a kid for being a kid. Pigs
– This is why even us law abiding Americans hates the police.. You people should really be ashamed of yourselves.. I mean, how do you sleep at night? Oh.. come to think of it... I'll bet you sleep quite well.
– I think it's hilarious how you can charge a 8th grader with a felony and quite possibly ruin his life over a prank. When your own jackholes can just resign when they commit felonies. The double standards you have created in this country does not go over looked. You expect the public to show you respect and to trust you when you do the exact opposite. History will remember a ti.e in this country when our law enforcement were corrupt and could not be trusted. Shame on you.
– This kid is 14 and the sheriff wants him to have a felony conviction on his record for the rest of his life. Despicable.
– I'm embarrassed for you Chris.
It's probably unlikely the kid will see the inside of a courtroom – but the complications from this, and the legal bills likely to be incurred by his family – will not be inconsequential.
Image via Pasco Sheriff's Office, Facebook