Palin's Yahoo Email Hacker Indicted

Dennis Faas's picture

Not so long ago, we reported on Sarah Palin's unwise decision to use her Yahoo Mail account for sensitive information. The Tennessee hacker who made Palin look so foolish has been indicted, the Justice Department announced on Wednesday.

Knoxville resident and college student David Kernell, just 20, faces charges for cracking Palin's Yahoo account back in September. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kernell was indicted by a grand jury for "intentionally accessing without authorization" the Republican senator's online account.

Although Kernell turned himself into authorities, he shortly thereafter entered a plea of not guilty. It's unclear at this time what his defense may be, but it is quite evident that he only approached police after finding out charges were being pressed. (Source:

The accused is the son of prominent Tennessee legislator Mike Kernell, a Memphis Democrat. Kernell the younger is currently an economics major at the University of Tennessee.

If the allegations are true, Kernell hardly made the effort to cover his tracks. According to reports, he took pictures of Palin's inbox after cracking her account and then arranged for the screen shots to be posted on the web site Wikileaks. Some of the contents of that account may have included email exchanges between Palin and Alaska's lieutenant governor, Sean Parnell.

At this level, one would think a potential vice-president would be a bit more careful with their personal messages. However, the McCain camp is placing the blame squarely on Kernell, calling the hack "a shocking invasion of the Governor's privacy and a violation of the law." (Source:

Kernell faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for his actions, the FBI told reporters. He'll face the charges sometime in December.

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