Thursday, February 17, 2005

Former Thousand Oaks City Council Candidate Faces Charges for Phone Hacking

The Ventura County Star reports that a former Thousand Oaks City Council Candidate has been arrested for phone hacking in trying to manipulate last November's election:

The man who ran for Thousand Oaks City Council by intimidating people at a public meeting with a bullhorn and calling for the assassination of President Bush has been arrested on suspicion of felony computer fraud, identity theft, false impersonation and election fraud.

Daniel Avila, 25, is being investigated for reportedly hacking a cell phone text-messaging network and sending messages on Election Day urging voters to choose him, while pretending to be Robert Wilson, who served as a councilman and mayor and was one of his opponents.

Avila is accused of sending the text messages between midnight and 4 a.m. Nov. 2, aggravating thousands of Verizon Wireless customers living in Thousand Oaks. The message, reading "Please vote for Daniel Avila for Thousand Oaks City Council," was purportedly sent from Wilson's e-mail address.

If convicted, Avila could face up to three years in prison, said Jon Hamilton, Avila's Ventura-based attorney....

Read the rest here.

If convicted the courts will need to send a punitive judicial message to Mr. Avila and any individuals who may contemplate high tech election fraud.

Mayor Bob Wilson did not lose the election by much and the public deserves the right to trust the political/electoral process without such dirty tricks.

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