Journalist Timothy Burke charged with federal conspiracy.

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Timothy Burke, a journalist and media consultant, was charged with 14 federal crimes in an indictment that was revealed. The charges included conspiracy, and involved illegally accessing and distributing electronic items found on protected computers and servers. The indictment also alleges that Burke engaged in unauthorized access to protected computers, stealing electronic items and information from those devices, and intercepting and disclosing the contents of wire, oral, and electronic communications. The best known content that was stolen and leaked included “protected commercial broadcast video streams” that were allegedly leaked. Burke was charged with one count of conspiracy, six counts of accessing a protected computer without authorization and seven counts of intentional interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that the unsealed indictment of Burke might be tied to an ongoing criminal investigation into leaked behind-the-scenes videos from Fox News that feature Tucker Carlson and the rapper formerly known as Kanye West. In a July 2023 letter from Burke’s lawyer to an assistant U.S. attorney related to the May seizure of electronic devices and computers from his home, it was mentioned that Burke had been able to find and expose information about the Carlson/West interview, causing embarrassment to Fox News. Burke claimed that the live feeds extracted from the publicly-posted credentials were part of his journalistic work, and that he found something newsworthy on a publicly accessible site.

Burke was arrested and set to appear in federal court in Tampa unexpectedly, after being charged with 14 crimes, including one count of conspiracy, six counts of accessing a protected computer without authorization, and seven counts of intentional interception of a wire, oral, or electronic communication. The charges build off an ongoing criminal investigation into leaked videos from Fox News and raise concerns about the unauthorized access to protected computers and the stealing and leaking of electronic items and information. Despite Burke’s claims that he found something newsworthy on a publicly accessible site, the extent of his engagement in hacking and stealing protected broadcast video streams has yet to be determined.

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