Saturday, October 11, 2008

Why hacking Gov. Palin's email matters...

...And why it matters. The facts: in mid-September, an anonymous hacker got into Sarah Palin's personal Yahoo! email accounts and posted links to them on other blogs. Those blogs acted as news sources and posted images that clearly illustrated Governor Palin's ethics violation by circumventing the transparency of her office and using her personal email accounts to conduct government business. Of course, what had the media foaming at the mouth wasn't Governor Palin's tactics to circumvent the law, but the fact that her private email account was *gasp* hacked! (see the O'Reilly video) From an online article, on October 8, 2008,
The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday said that David C. Kernell, 20, the University of Tennessee student tied by Internet sleuths to the hacking of Alaska governor Sarah Palin's Yahoo Mail account, has been indicted.

A federal grand jury in Knoxville, Tenn., indicted Kernell on Tuesday for intentionally accessing Palin's e-mail account without authorization. The indictment alleges that Kernell reset the account's password by answering several password recovery security questions, that he read Palin's e-mail, made screenshots, and that he posted that information and the account's password on a public Web site.
Andrew Sullivan links to an article by Scott Horton discussing the Department of Justice taking on the hacker more fervently than they ever have.
Generally the Department has not acted in cases in which the result of the intrusion is merely to embarrass the target, for a fairly obvious reason. At best we’re only talking about a misdemeanor. The Palin email hacking case quite plainly falls into this category. So what is going on?
The Justice Department seems to be setting one of its amazing new rules. When a Republican political figure is damaged in her expectation of being elected to office, it is telling us, that’s a felony. And why is that the case here? Because the hacker helped establish something important: Sarah Palin has been systematically violating the Open Records Act.
In fact, the hacker in question helped flush out Palin’s violations. The hacker also helped establish a motive for the illegal conduct: Palin regularly involved her husband in official business, and it’s easy to understand why she did not want to leave behind evidence of her husband’s involvement.
On Friday, an independent "legislative investigation has concluded that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power in pushing for the firing of an Alaska state trooper who was once married to her sister, or by failing to prevent her husband Todd from doing so." Shouldn't they be commending this young man for flushing out the truth that Gov. Sarah Palin refused to turn over despite a FOIA request?

Other links of interest to this:
Palin Comes Under Fire for using Yahoo email for State Business
Bill O'Reilly gets schooled on the First Amendment by Fox News Cooresponent. (via Boing Boing)

1 comment:

Payday Loan Advocate said...

David Kernell is the 20-year-old son of Tennessee’s Democratic Representative Mike Kernell, and David got caught red-handed. Based on the CNN account “Democratic lawmaker's son indicted in Palin hacking,” David reset the password of GOP vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin’s personal e-mail account. David allegedly read the contents, took screenshots, and got a hold of other private information. Some of the information believed to be compromised includes Palin’s address book, photos of family and friends, contact phone numbers, and family birthdates among other things. Ironically, although David Kernell turned himself in, he pled not guilty. Why would he plead not guilty after he took the information he hacked from Palin’s personal account and posted it to a public website? Not only did David post Palin’s personal information to the public site, but he posted the new password he created, which made it possible for others to access and view Palin’s e-mail account. As a consequence, David Kernell could serve five years in jail, pay a $250,000 fine, and be subject to three years of supervised release. At the maximum of $1,500 per loan, that fine would require approximately 167 individual payday loans to free himself from the confines of prison

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