Terry Childs Case

Terry Childs is a former network administrator who was employed by the City of San Francisco. In June 2008, he was arrested and charged with four counts of computer tampering for refusing to divulge the passwords to San Francisco's FiberWAN system to his supervisors. The city went without administrative control of the network for 12 days; this was considered a denial of service, which is illegal in California.

After being arrested, Childs was held on $5 million bail (McMillan, 2009). He was also accused of tampering with the network and subversively avoiding auditing checks (Venezia, 2008).

Key Events in the Childs Case

April 27, 2010

Childs was found guilty of one count of felony network tampering on April 27, 2010 by a jury (Begin, 2010).

August 6, 2010

Childs was sentenced to four years in the California State Prison by Judge Teri Jackson. Childs had already served 755 days in prison as of his sentencing. These days were applied to his sentence, leaving him eligible for parole after four-to-six months of incarceration.

May 17, 2011

Childs was ordered by the court to pay nearly $1.5 million in restitution. Childs was released sometime before May 17, 2011 according to his lawyer.

October 2013

The California Court of Appeals affirmed Childs' conviction and his obligation to pay nearly $1.5 million in restitution (People v. Childs).


Begin, B. (2010, April 27). Network engineer Terry Childs found guilty of network tampering. San Francisco Examiner. https://www.sfexaminer.com/news/network-engineer-terry-childs-found-guilty-of-network-tampering/

McMillan, R. (2009, August 31). Judge won't lower $5M bail for SF IT administrator. Computerworld. https://www.computerworld.com/article/2527772/judge-won-t-lower--5m-bail-for-sf-it-administrator.html.

People v. Childs, 2013 WL 5779044 (Cal. App. Ct. Oct. 25, 2013). https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1647874.html

Venezia, P. (2008, July 31). Sorting out the facts in the Terry Childs case. InfoWorld. https://www.computerworld.com/article/2777892/sorting-out-the-facts-in-the-terry-childs-case.html

Licenses and Attributions

Terry Childs is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. UMGC has modified this work and it is available under the original license.