Friend of the Boston bomber, Khairullozhon Matanov, is being sentenced under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for clearing his browsing history, which has been considered ‘obstruction of justice’.
Matanov came to the police reporting he had dinner with the brothers, but lied about several details and proceeded to delete his browsing history when he got home that day. The 24 year old was under heavy surveillance of the police for a year in Quincy. Although he the police never linked Matanov to the bombings, he could have faced 20 years in prison for lying about details and deleting evidence which could have ‘shown his terrorist sympathies’.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was put into effect in 2002, for the purpose of preventing corporations and small businesses from obstructing investigations. Despite how this legislation started, it has since been used to persecute people in a broad umbrella of crimes. The person in question doesn’t even have to know they are under investigation when deleting digital data which may be considered evidence in order to be held accountable under the act. This raises the issues of privacy and edges the border of a ‘Big Brother’ kind of feel to it.
After a year of surveillance, the former cab driver was arrested in May of 2014. Khairullozhon Matanov pleaded guilty in order to gain a plea deal which reduces the lengthy sentence from a possible twenty years down to a still lengthy, but still smaller, 30 months in prison.