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NY Times hacker set to surrender

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Hacker Adrian Lamo has agreed to walk into a federal courthouse in Sacramento, California, Tuesday morning and turn himself in to law enforcement officials, Lamo and his attorney said Monday.

In exchange, the government will release him on bail within hours, and allow him to transport himself to New York to face charges stemming from his penetration of the New York Times last year, said deputy federal public defender Mary French.

"I have an investigator who's going to be with him, and I think he'll physically be there at the courthouse at 9:00 a.m.," French said.

If all goes according to plan, Lamo will be taken into custody and booked, then make an appearance before a magistrate judge at 2:00 p.m., when he'll be released on a signature bond. His parents have also agreed to put up their house to guarantee his appearance, said French.

French said she's confirmed with prosecutors that Lamo faces a two-count federal complaint charging him with illegally accessing the New York Times internal network last year. One count charges Lamo with computer intrusion; a second with possession of access devices, specifically passwords for the LexisNexis database service allegedly obtained from the Times network.

The 22-year-old Lamo has become famous for publicly exposing gaping security holes at large corporations, then volunteering to help the companies fix the vulnerabilities he exploited -- sometimes visiting their offices or signing non-disclosure agreements in the process. Until now, his cooperation and transparency have kept him from being prosecuted.

Monday night, Lamo said he had no regrets.

"My views may change as this goes on, but I still think this has somehow all been worthwhile," said the hacker in a telephone interview. "There's no action that I've ever taken that I'm not willing to accept the consequences for."

FBI agents armed with an arrest warrant visited Lamo's parents on Thursday. By Monday, the hacker's supporters had erected a website at FreeLamo.com to support him "and his fight for freedom."

An official at the Sacramento courthouse confirmed that Lamo is expected.

"We are aware that Adrian is supposed to surrender here in this building," said courthouse security officer Warren Eggar. "He would come into the front lobby, and we'd take him from there.

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