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Al-Jazeera cracker charged

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A US Web designer has been charged with breaking into DNS servers and rerouting surfers visiting the Web site of Al-Jazeera to a "Let Freedom Ring" patriotic Web site he created,

John William Racine II, of Norco, California, is also accused of intercepting Web email sent to the Arab satellite TV network, AP reports.

The 24 year-old is out on bail pending a Monday court appearance when he will face charges of unlawful interception of an electronic communication and wire fraud.

Prosecutors allege that Racine obtained a password for Al-Jazeera's Web site by posing as a representative of the station in forged requests faxed to Network Solutions, who handed over the vital information without verifying his identity.

This social engineering trick allowed Racine to reroute people visiting Al-Jazeera's site to a Web page containing an outline map of the US superimposed with the Stars and Stripes, and containing the slogan "Let Freedom Ring". Racine also intercepted 300 emails sent to Al-Jazeera between March 25 and 27, prosecutors allege.

A US attorney's spokesman told AP that he expected Racine to plead guilty to the charges. However Racine is yet to enter a plea in the case. His arraignment is due to take place next Monday, June 16. ®

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