On Tuesday, federal prosecutors in New York indicted a former Google engineer on federal charges that he helped engineer the “Googlebot” software to spy on Americans.
John Gilmore, a former engineer at Google, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute botnets, which can be used to spy online on people.
The FBI and the Justice Department are prosecuting the case as part of a wider effort to crack down on botnets.
The indictment says Gilmore’s “partner” was Andrew Auernheimer, a well-known cybersecurity expert who went by the handle of The Dapper Laughs.
Auerniel, who worked at Google for five years, allegedly helped Gilmore install the Google botnet and used it to steal the personal information of more than 100,000 people.
Gilmore is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to violate the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, as well as wire fraud charges.
Gilmore’s defense attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Prosecutors allege that Gilmore sold the botnet to two other people.
He was arrested on May 31.
Ars Technica has previously reported that a similar indictment was filed in May in Texas against Gilmore, who has previously been charged with criminal contempt for allegedly obstructing an investigation.
Gilmore, whose wife, Trudy Gilmore, is a prominent Silicon Valley entrepreneur, has denied all charges.
The former Google employee pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In a statement, Gilmore’s attorney, Christopher Gelles, said he was “not aware of the charges” but that the indictment was “unfounded and completely without merit.”
He said that he plans to appeal the indictment.
Ars has reached out to the Department of Justice for comment on the case and will update this post if we hear back.