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Why I did it: Former hacker Mitchell Frost explains his motivation

Joan Goodchild | Jan. 23, 2014
Frost took the time to talk about his experience in hacking and delves into the reasons why he did it, his thoughts on the punishment he received and his plans for the future.

I think they should of come to some plea with me within a year of the initial raid so I could of dealt with this problem and moved on with my life. Maybe do 3-4 months in some low-security prison and some intensive probation would have been the same. Now it will end up costing me about 10 years of my life — 2006 started it and by the time I'm off probation it will be 2016. All for taking some servers offline. You tell me: is that fair?

What has this experience taught you?
The experience is not over yet and is far from. I have learned to keep to myself when I see something unjust or unfair or unbalanced all I can do is stay clear of it and talk to people I know or influence and explain my point of view without any damages, physical or monetary.

Last year, there was a lot of sadness and discussion around the suicide of Reddit co-founder Aaron Schwartz. As you know, Schwartz was facing a trial after being arrested on allegations of breaching a computer network to download millions of pages of documents kept at MIT. Many feel he was being too harshly prosecuted for the crime and it drove him to suicide. What are your thoughts on that, having faced a sentence yourself?
I am very familar with Aaron Schwartz. Did you know he chose to take his case to trial because he was not guilty? He was murdered and it was made to look like a suicide. Who would ignore a plea deal with no jail time, wait for trial and then commit suicide? All he did was download some stuff from the MIT library — most of it was like 30 years old. He was prosecuted because of his ties to a grassroots movement for Internet freedom.

What's next for you? What are you plans for the future?
I am rebuilding my life the best I can for having limited resources. I was released Election Day 2012. I was stuck living in a halfway house in the slums of Toledo, Ohio. Then I had to go up the chain of the BOP and the halfway house to get released to home detention. That took about 2.5 months.

I started probation on March 8th, 2013. I work at a small store in a town where my wife's parents let us live in a rental, so we pay them what we can. I pretty much cannot go to school because I owe so much to U of Akron and I have $50,000 in fines and restitution. They take a percentage of my pay each check to give to Bill O'Reilly. I guess when you're worth $50 million, why not ruin some guy's life and future and suck every check he makes?


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