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Man Faced 20 Years in Prison For Clearing Web Browser History

18.06.2015  |  01:36
Man Faced 20 Years in Prison For Clearing Web Browser History

Khairullozhon Matanov, a former taxi driver, is scheduled to appear in US Federal Court next week to face sentencing on charges of obstruction of justice related to the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing.

Matanov did not participate in or have any prior knowledge of the bombings, according to U.S. authorities. However, those facts are irrelevant.

Matanov could be locked in a cage for 20 years because he cleared his browser history in the days following the attacks.

A Grand Jury indictment issued on May 29, 2014, states that Matanov “deleted a large amount of information from his Google Chrome Internet cache” following the bombing, including “references to the video of the suspected bombers [later identified as the Tsarnaevs],” “two of the photographs of the bombers released at approximately the same time,” and “a photograph of Officer Sean Collier, who had been allegedly killed by Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.”

For those who may be unfamiliar, if you browse the web, you have a cache. A cache is a repository for stored data that is used to expedite the process of retrieving data. Caches are used to speed up a process so that data does not have to be recomputed or fetched from its original location and, therefore, saves time.

Because Matanov deleted his cache, he was charged with “Destruction, Alteration, and Falsification of Records, Documents, and a Tangible Object in a Federal Investigation” which could land him in a cell for 20 years.Man Faced 20 Years in Prison For Clearing Web Browser History. 678.jpeg

Fakhoury said that the government’s “underlying theory” is this:

“Don’t even think about deleting anything that may be harmful to you, because we may come after you at some point in the future for some unforeseen reason and we want to be able to have access to that data. And if we don’t have access to that data, we’re going to slap an obstruction charge that has as 20-year maximum on you.”

Research Credit: alvinroast, almaverdad2 

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