Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

July 12, 2012

Cyberthreatener’s day in court postponed

A court appearance for the man accused of threatening the University in YouTube postings has been postponed.

A federal court judge in Pittsburgh on July 6 granted the U.S. Attorney’s request to extend the speedy trial time for Alexander Waterland, 24, of Loveland, Ohio. Waterland’s court appearance, scheduled for July 9, has been reset for Aug. 13 before Magistrate Judge Robert C. Mitchell. Waterland remains free on his own recognizance.

In the motion, filed July 5, prosecutors stated that they are in discussions with Waterland’s attorney “regarding the potential charges involved in an indictment in this case,” and that additional time would permit the parties to attempt to resolve the issue.

Under Waterland’s rights to a speedy trial, prosecutors would have had to file formal charges by July 20. The July 6 action extends that period by 30 days.

Waterland was arrested June 20 in Ohio. He faces a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $500,000 fine on charges of interstate threats/extortion and interstate extortion involving a protected computer.

The charges are connected to a YouTube posting, “Anonymous Message to the University of Pittsburgh,” posted April 26 by AnonOperative13. The video claimed that Pitt’s computer systems had been hacked and personal data on students, faculty and alumni had been stolen. In the posting, AnonOperative13 threatened to release the data unless Pitt posted an apology on its home page for not safeguarding the data. (See June 28 University Times.)

Waterland’s attorney, Anthony M. Bittner, did not respond to the University Times’ request for comment.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Leave a Reply