01:05 GMT +308 December 2019
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    US Man Gets Two-Year Prison Sentence For Leaking Singaporean HIV Data

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    American Mikhy Farrera Brochez was sentenced to 24 months in a federal prison on Friday after being found guilty of leaking the confidential health records of thousands of HIV-positive Singaporeans.

    The sentencing comes months after Brochez was found guilty in a US court in June of attempting to extort the Singaporean government over said health records in two emails that were sent on January 22 and February 18. Brochez was also found guilty of unlawfully and knowingly possessing the database which held the records, according to the Straits Times.

    Following the two-year prison sentence, Brochez will be placed on supervised release for a period of three years. During this time, the 34-year-old American will have to complete mental health evaluations and counseling sessions.

    Citing court documents, the Times reported that Brochez will also have to allow for all his electronic devices and communications to be routinely searched by his assigned probation officer, and fork over all his email account passwords. Additionally, prior approval will be needed for Brochez to gain access to the internet, any email system or anyone involved in his case, including Teresa King, his mother.

    Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) first announced in January 2019 that Brochez was the culprit behind the leak of data regarding more than 14,000 HIV-positive individuals living within the island city-state. MOH officials have noted that leaked records belonged to 5,400 Singaporeans diagnosed between 1985 and 2013, and 8,800 foreigners diagnosed from 1985 to 2001.

    Though access to the stolen records was disabled at the time, copies of the records were still in the possession of Brochez, who reportedly obtained the information from partner Ler Teck Siang. Ler had access to the data, as he was the head of MOH’s National Public Health Unit from March 2012 to May 2013.

    Brochez lived in Singapore between 2008 and 2016, working as a polytechnic lecturer, according to Channel News Asia, which noted that he managed to get work by using falsified degrees and lying about his HIV-positive status to gain an employment visa. 

    He was eventually deported from Singapore in May 2018 after serving a 28-month prison sentence for his offenses; however, prior to leaving the city-state, Brochez managed to ship several electronic devices that stored the stolen HIV-related data to his mother in Kentucky. He began firing off his emails to Singaporean government officials a few months after returning stateside.

    According to the Times, a separate civil lawsuit has been filed by the MOH in an effort to compel Brochez to reveal how exactly he came to possess the records and whether or not he has fully complied with court orders to delete them, among other concerns.

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    Tags:
    Prison, Health, HIV, data leak, US, Singapore
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