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Fired Florida data scientist Rebekah Jones turns herself in to authorities

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Fired Florida data scientist Rebekah Jones turns herself in to authorities

Fired Florida data scientist Rebekah Jones, see here in a interview on June 24, 2020, turns herself in to authorities.

The former Florida data analyst who has accused state officials of covering up the extent of the pandemic has turned herself in to authorities in Leon County days after a warrant was issued for her arrest, according to a news release from Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

Rebekah Jones has been charged with one count of offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices, the news release stated.

Jones was fired from the Florida Department of Health in May and has repeatedly criticized Gov. Ron DeSantis' handling of the Covid-19 crisis.

The FDLE has said it is investigating whether Jones accessed a state messaging system without authorization to call for state officials to speak out about Covid-19 deaths.

"It's time to speak up before another 17,000 people are dead," said a message sent on November 10, according to the affidavit. "You know this is wrong. You don't have to be part of this. Be a hero. Speak out before it's too late."

Officials traced that message to an IP address linked to Jones' house, according to a search-warrant affidavit.

On December 7, Jones' home was raided. Jones has filed a lawsuit, alleging FDLE officials violated her First Amendment rights, deprived her of due process and unlawfully seized her computers, cell phone and storage media during a search of her home.

The suit states that IP addresses are commonly "spoofed" and references news articles that found that the username and password for the system of the message that triggered the investigation were publicly available on the health department's website.

CNN's Curt Devine and Holly Yan contributed to this report.


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