Feeds

Sarah Palin ordered to preserve Yahoo! emails

Used for official Alaska business

The Power of One Infographic

US vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has been ordered to preserve all emails from private accounts that relate to state business.

Superior Court Judge Craig Stowers ordered Alaska's attorney general to recover messages contained in a Yahoo email account maintained by Palin. The account was breached last month and some of its contents were posted to Wikileaks.

Friday's court order follows revelations that the Alaska governor has conducted email discussions concerning official state business from a Yahoo email address. According to The Washington Post, Palin, her husband and several aides established additional private email accounts that were apparently known only to one another. Critics say her use of email accounts outside of the state's official system violates open government laws that require such communications to be available to members of the public.

Indeed, according to screenshots posted to Wikileaks, email sent to Palin's Yahoo account contained subject headings including "Draft letter to Governor Schwarzenegger," "Court of Appeals Nominations" and "CONFIDENTIAL Ethics Matter."

The McCain campaign ordered all of Palin's email accounts frozen after the breach of the Yahoo address became public.

Andree McLeod, an Anchorage activist, has sued Palin to access more than 1,100 emails the governor refused to turn over during a public records request. Although Palin cited executive privilege in declining the request, McLeod's attorney contends the governor waived the privilege by routinely copying messages to her husband, Todd, who is not a state employee.

Last week, the son of a Tennessee democratic representative was indicted by a federal grand jury for illegally accessing Palin's Yahoo account and posting some of its contents. David Kernell, 20, has pleaded not guilty.

In addition to skirting public records laws, critics have faulted Palin's use of unofficial email accounts for the ease with which messages can be intercepted. Yahoo mail's password reset feature, which was used to breach Palin's account, is notoriously easy to manipulate by unauthorized individuals.

Members of the Bush administration have also been accused of using private accounts to send emails conducting official White House business. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (Democrat of California) said in March 2007 that White House officials used nongovernmental accounts specifically to avoid creating a record of the communications.

More recently, Vice President Dick Cheney's office has acknowledged that an entire week's worth of email is missing from White House archives. It was the first week of October, 2003, the opening days in a probe by the Justice Department into whether anyone at the White House leaked the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.