Sarah Palin's e-mail hacker found guilty

By siliconindia   |   Monday, 03 May 2010, 05:57 Hrs
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Bangalore: The former University of Tennessee-Knoxville student, David C. Kernell, who was connected with the hacking of Sarah Palin's Yahoo Mail account, was found guilty. The jury deadlocked on a charge of identity theft and acquitted Kernell on a charge of wire fraud, reports Thomas Claburn of InformationWeek. When Palin was running as the Republican candidate for Vice President Kernell obtained access to Palin's e-mail account by guessing her password, 'popcorn.' He then posted screenshots of his findings on an Internet forum. Wikileaks then posted some of the data that Kernell had obtained, stating that it had done so because "Governor Palin has come under criticism for using private e-mail accounts to conduct government business and in the process avoid transparency laws." The whistle blowing site posted five screenshots of Palin's Yahoo Mail account, three text files with contact information and related data culled from the account, and two photos of Palin's family. The case generated intense media interest as well. In a statement posted on her Facebook page, Sarah Palin expressed appreciation to the jury for its verdict and likened the account break-in to the Watergate scandal. Based on federal sentencing guidelines, Kernell's sentence is likely to be less than two years. The obstruction of justice charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years. The misdemeanor charge carries a one year maximum sentence.