A former encryption expert at Barclays Bank has been cleared of attempting to extort £25m from the bank and threatening to expose confidential security information.
Graham Browne, former head of Barclays' elite cryptography team in Cheshire, was acquitted on a charge of blackmail by a jury at the Old Bailey this week.
The case centred on letters sent to Barclays' chief executive by Browne, saying he would expose the bank's weak security unless £25m was paid to himself and 13 other people.
He maintained the letters had been a "joke" and that he only ever intended to highlight the bank's security weaknesses on systems used to protect the UK's eight million Barclaycard account holders.
Before the letters were sent, Browne had resigned from Barclays after becoming disillusioned when the bank ignored his ideas for projects to improve the security of Barclaycard customers.
He admitted to the court his demand was "ludicrous", and did not think it would be taken seriously.
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