Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lulz Were Not Had By All! :: Kernell v. Palin

image:: David Kernell, centre-exiting door, AP-Lisa Norman-Hudson

The HuffPo has the details on this story here, but the condensed version is::
  1. David Kernell, son of Democratic Tennessee House Rep., Mike Kernell, decided to try his hand at punking then newly-nominated Sarah Palin in September of 2008
  2. He was able to hack into her Yahoo e-mail by answering some security questions
  3. He changed the password and posted screenshots of his hack to beloved 4chan's /b/
  4. While he was using a proxy IP, slipups were made and he was traced
  5. Indicted, he faces up to 50 years in jail for identity theft, wire fraud, intentionally accessing Palin's e-mail account without authorization and obstructing an FBI investigation.
The trial is in conservative eastern Tennessee and the judge denied a pretrial motion to have prospective jurors answer questions about their attitudes towards Sarah Palin. Kernell is concerned that jurors might be dazzled by tea party star Sarah Palin, who is expected to testify.

Was this a case of a prank or is this guy a serious menace?

The TJX hackers are the real deal with respect to identity theft and fraud. E-mail snooping to ruin someone is more like the Larry Mendte case, who received 3 years probation. I don't know Kernell's intent and I have no idea what he would have done if he had hacked juicier information, but that's immaterial, as it didn't come to pass.

If Kernell gets hard time, which may happen in that jurisdiction, I think there needs to be much more definition of what hacking and cybercrime is and where the lines and gradations are. In terms of sentences, proportionality needs to be factored in, as well. I predict probation.

Twitterversion:: Sarah Palin email hacker case from 2008 on trial. Prank or serious crime worthy of hard time? @Prof_K

Song:: Quincy Jones-'Soul Bossa Nova'



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