Photo: Cyrus Farivar / ArsTechnica.com

A quick note

Today is the most-important day of my life so far. The direction of the rest of my life rests with a single person and is almost completely beyond my control.

I’m not sure what to expect today. I anticipate I’ll have more to say on the outcome shortly afterward. I did want to post a quick note saying thank you to those who have supported me during this incredibly difficult time.

The past three years have been exceptionally challenging — for me personally and for my professional career as a journalist. Nonetheless, I’ve tried my best to commit acts of journalism every day while the legal process plays itself out. I’m incredibly proud of the work I’ve done — the 14-month investigation into cellphone surveillance devices, exposing a falsehood by Ferguson’s former police chief, unearthing new details in the beating of a man by California deputies and helping to grow and nurture a grassroots online community, just to name a few. I could not have done that if it wasn’t for your support.

Specifically, I’d like to recognize the publishers, editors and writers who were able to see through the baseless, absurd and entirely wrong accusations levied against me and who continued to find value in the work I produced. Special thanks to Nikki, Alicia, Austen, Joanne, Joe, Jonathan and Levi for being the best colleagues a person could have in times like these. Thanks to Carol, Luis, Braeden, Kashif, Adam, Peter, Rory, Michael, Ethan and countless others for being an online shoulder to lean on. Special thanks to Mark, Will, Nick and my family for helping me take my mind off life and for putting up with me on those many cranky and depressing days.

Deep thanks to my attorneys — Tor, Jay and Mark—and the attorneys and associates at their law firms for vigorously defending me now and in the future. Thanks to Andrew for the connection. And thanks to the journalists who covered the case and the advocates and advocacy groups who have tirelessly urged for change to the antiquated and draconian computer law that governs us all.

I am innocent, and I did not ask for this fight. Nonetheless, I hope that our combined efforts help bring about positive change to rules and regulations that govern our online conduct. As I’ve previously written, nobody should face terrorism charges for passing a Netflix username and password. But under today’s law, prosecutors can use their discretion to bring those exact charges against people—including journalists—whenever they see fit. Prosecutors did so in this case. Until the law catches up with the times, there’s no doubt that prosecutors will do it again.

Whatever happens today, I hope I’m able to continue serving the public with important stories of interest. Journalism is all I’m good at, and I’m not exactly sure what I’ll do if I’m not able to do it anymore.

Best,
Matthew

Edit: Some of you may have heard the news already. I’ll have more to say on this in the next few days.