The now infamous Sarah Palin email hacker has been sentenced to just over one year at a halfway house, sparing him what many expected would be time behind bars for his attempts to derail her campaign during the 2008 presidential elections. According to the Associated Press, Federal Judge Thomas W. Phillips recommended be spared a prison sentence because of his struggles with depression which predate the incident.
Kernell apologized to Palin saying that the incident would undoubtedly affect him for the rest of his life, though it appears to have fallen on deaf ears. Palin’s official Facebook page was updated and compared the case to the 1972 Watergate scandal which led to Nixon’s resignation shortly thereafter. "As Watergate taught us, we rightfully reject illegally breaking into candidates' private communications for political intrigue in an attempt to derail an election."
Either way it did uncover the fact that not only did Sarah Palin conduct official state business using her Yahoo account, but that it could be accessed by simply guessing what high school she went to. Hopefully politicians who actually have juicy gossip to hide learned their lessons on this one
Political figures and other high-profile individuals can sleep a little better at night knowing that David Kernell, the 22-year-old who allegedly hacked into Sarah Palin's Yahoo email account in 2008, was found guilty on two charges and will likely serve some jail time.
Jurors convicted Kernell on one count each of computer fraud and obstruction of justice, the latter of which carries a maximum 20-year sentence. Computer fraud is considered a misdemeanor and is subject to a prison term of up to one year, so in a worst case scenario Kernell could be faced with 21 years behind bars, though that's highly unlikely. Kernell was not found guilty of wire fraud, and escaped a count of identity theft, at least for now, thanks to a deadlocked jury. Prosecutors must decide whether to retry Kernell on the deadlocked charge before a sentencing date can be set.
The case has received widespread attention not just because of Sarah Palin, but because David Kernell is the son of Micheal Kernell, a Tennessee state legislator.
Do you think Kernell should serve time for hacking someone's email account, political figure or not? What do you think would be an appropriate punishment? (Please refrain from political mudslinging when commenting on this post).
Quickly after the news of Palin’s Yahoo email account being hacked broke out, cops zeroed in on 20-year old David Kernell, who happens to be the son of Democratic Tennessee State rep. Mike Kernell.
Now, more than a fortnight after the entire incidence came to light, David Kernell has been indicted. According to the indictment, David advertently accessed Sarah Palin’s personal email account on September 16, 2008 without having the authority do so. David might have to spend up to five years behind bars if the charges against him are proven.
Both her campaign manager and the FBI confirmed the news of her account being hacked, which began circulating after the appearance of the leaked screenshots on WikiLeaks. You will not be able to have a look at the screenshots yourself, in case your peeping faculties have been roused by the news, as they have been taken down.
The hackers are said to have only counted on their social engineering skills – by collecting or guessing personal information required for password recovery – and Yahoo’s flimsy, lax password-recovery process for breaking into her account. All said, the hack has exposed Palin’s inexpedient habit of conducting state business using a personal e-mail account.