Feeds

Palin webmail hacker conviction upheld

More than a prank

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The conviction of a former University of Tennessee student for breaking into Sarah Palin's webmail account during the 2008 presidential election campaign has been upheld.

David Kernell was found guilty of computer hacking and obstruction of justice at a trial in April, during which he was acquitted of identity theft and wire fraud charges. During the trial, the former Alaska governor and Republican VP candidate testified that the hack caused emotional distress as well as disrupting her election campaign.

Lawyers for Kernell appealed against the conviction for obstruction of justice on the grounds that Kernell tried to delete evidence of his misconduct in a panic and before federal authorities had even launched an inquiry. They further argued that Kernell 's successful attempt to guess Palin's webmail password reset question and break into her account before posting extracted emails online was little more than a college prank gone wrong.

US District Judge Thomas Phillips rejected both these arguments in upholding the two convictions last Thursday. The ruling still leaves the possibility of a further appeal by Kernell's legal team before a sentencing hearing, scheduled for 29 October. Defence lawyers will hope to secure probation if the case goes that far although federal sentencing guidelines suggest Kernell ought to be sent to jail for somewhere between 15 to 21 months, the Knoxville News Sentinel reports. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA
Mr Burns vs. The Chocolate Factory, round three!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Germany 'accidentally' snooped on John Kerry and Hillary Clinton
Dragnet surveillance picks up EVERYTHING, USA, m'kay?
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.