How the Palin email hacker suspect was caught

TGDaily, a tech site, explains how the suspected Palin email hacker, 20-year-old David Kernell, a student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and son of Democratic Tennessee state representative Mike Kernell, was caught. He used a proxy server supposed to anonymize his identity, but the owner was quite upset at being used to cover illegal activities, and was also contacted by the FBI. Read the further details here.

It is obvious from posts the hacker made that he was fully conscious of breaking the law.

There is some suggestion that the hacker may have a loophole. Chloe Albanesius of PC Magazine writes:

Though federal law prohibits the unauthorized access of someone's e-mail account, the DOJ's interpretation of one particular case might only hold the Palin hackers accountable for accessing unopened messages, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Hackers obtained access to the Alaska governor's personal gov.palin@yahoo.com e-mail address
this week after successfully navigating through Yahoo's password reset process. They changed the governor's password, took screen shots of the account's contents, accessed personal photographs, and sent all the data to the Wikileaks Web site.


Under the Stored Communication Act (SCA), it is illegal to access without permission a wire or electronic communication while it is in electronic storage. A 2003 case, Theofel v. Farey-Jones, ruled that electronic storage refers to e-mails that have been read, as well as those that are unopened.


The DOJ, however, is not a huge fan of the Theofel decision.

It should be obvious to anyone that the DoJ does not get to ignore decisions it dislikes. Full speed ahead on prosecution, or else the many fans of Sarah will be up in arms. Those who don't understand her appeal will once again be clueless.


Hat tip: Doug, Lucianne.com

TGDaily, a tech site, explains how the suspected Palin email hacker, 20-year-old David Kernell, a student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and son of Democratic Tennessee state representative Mike Kernell, was caught. He used a proxy server supposed to anonymize his identity, but the owner was quite upset at being used to cover illegal activities, and was also contacted by the FBI. Read the further details here.

It is obvious from posts the hacker made that he was fully conscious of breaking the law.

There is some suggestion that the hacker may have a loophole. Chloe Albanesius of PC Magazine writes:

Though federal law prohibits the unauthorized access of someone's e-mail account, the DOJ's interpretation of one particular case might only hold the Palin hackers accountable for accessing unopened messages, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Hackers obtained access to the Alaska governor's personal gov.palin@yahoo.com e-mail address
this week after successfully navigating through Yahoo's password reset process. They changed the governor's password, took screen shots of the account's contents, accessed personal photographs, and sent all the data to the Wikileaks Web site.


Under the Stored Communication Act (SCA), it is illegal to access without permission a wire or electronic communication while it is in electronic storage. A 2003 case, Theofel v. Farey-Jones, ruled that electronic storage refers to e-mails that have been read, as well as those that are unopened.


The DOJ, however, is not a huge fan of the Theofel decision.

It should be obvious to anyone that the DoJ does not get to ignore decisions it dislikes. Full speed ahead on prosecution, or else the many fans of Sarah will be up in arms. Those who don't understand her appeal will once again be clueless.


Hat tip: Doug, Lucianne.com