Hacker Indicted for the Palin Email Job

By: Chris Crum - October 9, 2008

You may remember a few weeks ago when vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s Yahoo! email account was hacked. This was revealed to be the work of David Kernell, the son of Tennessee Democratic State Representative Mike Kernell. David was indicted Wednesday morning, and faces a maximum of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after turning himself in.

Mike has said that he had nothing to do with his son’s actions, but that hasn’t stopped the theories from circulating throughout the blogosphere. The fact that Kernell is a Democrat and an Obama supporter obviously is going to create some noise, whether that is justified or not. Some would even have you believe Kernell was just echoing the wishes of the Obama campaign, like this post at Deadenders:

He wasn’t working for the campaign even though he was following Michelle O’Angry’s words:

    "Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zone . . . Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual – uninvolved, uninformed."

I don’t think Democrat vs. Republican is the real issue here. Perhaps what we should really be looking at is the fact that the information of our political figures is being hacked into at all and that their info is so easily hackable to begin with. Even Obama’s own site was hacked earlier this year. Then of course there was the recent hacking of influential political analyst Bill O’Reilly’s site after he bashed sites that would post information obtained from the breach of Palin’s account.

I think security is the issue here that is and will continue to be lost in a sea of political propaganda from either party. Luckily we have a medium to openly discuss these things, and don’t have to take a bias from any side as the definitive source on a matter. I guess that’s just the "new media" legitimacy champion in me.

Update: In an interesting turn of events, Kernell pled not guilty today according to ComputerWorld. His trial has been set for December 16th.

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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  • http://www.firebubble.co.uk Firebubble Design

    I agree with you, we shouldn’t be looking into whether its a democrat vs rupublican issue but instead the laspes in security surrounding such influencal policitical figures.

    • Guest

      This shouldn’t be an issue of Dems vs. Repubs… but it is being made that way by the media. This should be an issue of  "some kid" being able to hack into a supposedly secure email account.

  • http://www.kishoresoft.com Sai Bharadwaj

    I guess he was luking 4 palin…not for secret info

  • http://easyadshowplace.com Glenn

    Not about which political party, but quickly disappearing security of all our information.

    I however wonder why a govonor would be using a free yahoo account

  • http://theblackfeetreview.blogspot.com/ Calvin Tatsey

    So what’s the crime?  Is it the hacking of a Yahoo account, or the hacking of a public official’s Yahoo account?  For one thing, Yahoo isn’t private, official or government; for another, anyone with or representing security concerns should have enough common-sense to avoid using such a non-secure communications forum.  Unless the courts can tie Palin’s governmental business to Palin’s need to utilize Yahoo as a means of transmitting sentitive information — if in fact that’s what was hacked into — over the net and David Kernell is penalized, then everyone should be afforded the same protection when using the net in any capacity.

  • snt

    Its not a big secret that yahoo accounts of thousands of people have been hacked.  How dumb a person can be to use such a unsecure medium for transmitting official information?   How can you expect this person to safeguard the nation’s classified stuff?  This is scary stuff.

  • http://www.puryhill.co.uk Milton Keynes

    Got to give it to the guy, if you were going to hack anyone’s email it would have to be the seemingly good as gold Sarah Palin. Have to wonder about the security of such high profile political figures, how long till one of Barack’s social networking profiles gets hacked.