Government to drop charges against National Weather Service employee accused of hacking

Well, in light of past coverage, I didn’t see this one coming. Lisa Cornwell of AP reports:

A National Weather Service employee accused of illegally accessing a restricted federal computer database containing information about the nation’s dams, stealing information and lying to federal investigators will have charges against her dismissed if a judge approves the prosecution’s request.

Prosecutors filed the motion Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Dayton to dismiss charges against Xiafen “Sherry” Chen just days before her trial is scheduled to start on Monday.

A statement by prosecutors said only that they were exercising “prosecutorial discretion” and were unable to comment further.

Read more on ABC, while I ponder the possible reasons for this move. Is she now a cooperating witness against someone else? Did they fear prosecution would reveal security weaknesses that would put the government at risk? Did they fear prosecution would interfere with an investigation of state actors in China? Did they suddenly decide they didn’t like their case? What? WHAT?

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