Jury convicts Palin e-mail hacker on two counts

Tennessee jury convicts 22-year-old son of a Democratic politician of hacking into Sarah Palin's Yahoo e-mail account when she was a U.S. vice presidential candidate.

Answering questions like these correctly led to the hacking of Palin's Yahoo account. Robert Vamosi/CNET

A Tennessee jury on Friday convicted the 22-year-old son of a Democratic politician of hacking into Sarah Palin's Yahoo e-mail account when she was a U.S. vice presidential candidate in 2008.

The federal jury found David Kernell guilty of unauthorized access to a computer and destroying records to obstruct justice. Kernell, the son of a state legislator, was acquitted on a wire fraud charge, and the jury deadlocked on an identity theft charge.

It's unclear when Kernell's sentencing will happen. U.S. District Judge Thomas Phillips has not yet set a date.

In a statement after the verdict, Palin said: "Violating the law, or simply invading someone's privacy for political gain, has long been repugnant to Americans' sense of fair play. As Watergate taught us, we rightfully reject illegally breaking into candidates' private communications for political intrigue in an attempt to derail an election."

Some snippets from Palin's account were leaked publicly in September 2008, including some family photographs.

Kernell was indicted a month later for the intrusion, which relied on social engineering .

About the author

Declan McCullagh is the chief political correspondent for CNET. You can e-mail him or follow him on Twitter as declanm. Declan previously was a reporter for Time and the Washington bureau chief for Wired and wrote the Taking Liberties section and Other People's Money column for CBS News' Web site.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments