Opinion: Grand jury indicts Dem legislator’s son as hacker of Sarah Palin’s e-mail

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Last month, as The Ticket reported here, someone hacked into the private e-mail account of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, then the new Republican vice presidential candidate.

The hacker posted some of her e-mails, photos and copied her personal phone book.

Maybe the hacker forgot Palin is now the world’s most closely guarded hockey mom. The FBI and Secret Service investigated. They raided a Knoxville home days later.

And Wednesday a federal grand jury there indicted David Kernell, the 20-year-old son of longtime Democratic state legislator Mike Kernell.

The indictment says the younger Kernell, an economics student at the University of Tennessee, accessed the account by resetting the password and adding his own.


He allegedly read and copied much information in the governor’s personal account, including family details, e-mails, phone numbers and family data such as birth dates. Additionally, the charges say he copied much of the information via screen shots and posted them online along with the new password, allowing others to access Palin’s account before the illegal entry was discovered and the account sealed.

Kernell turned himself in to authorities. No trial date was set. If convicted, he faces a maximum $250,000 fine and five years imprisonment, no doubt using only snail mail.

--Andrew Malcolm

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