Palin Hacker Convicted, Faces Up to 21 Years in Prison

Lora Bentley

The 22-year-old son of a Tennessee state senator was convicted last week on one felony charge and one misdemeanor charge arising from his hacking into Sarah Palin's Yahoo mail account during the 2008 presidential campaign.


PCWorld.com reports David Kernell was convicted of "felony destruction of records to hamper a federal investigation and of a misdemeanor charge that he unlawfully accessed a protected computer." The jury acquitted him of federal wire fraud charges.


Kernell accessed the former Alaska governor's e-mail account using the password reset function, coupled with biographical information that was publicly available given her status as the Republican vice presidential candidate. He subsequently posted images of her personal e-mail and pictures from her account to a public discussion forum.


He faces a maximum of 21 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for those charges. The court declared a mistrial on federal identity theft charge arising out of the same situation. The jury was deadlocked on that charge. Both Palin and her daughter Bristol testified for the prosecution during the trial.

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May 3, 2010 9:58 AM Bill Bill  says:

Well I think that you are being a BIT DRAMATIC here john. So what if the kid wants to hack something, that's his business and if he gets caught (and he did) then he will face the consequences. As for you are obviously a troll, probably voted for Bush in the last election, and most likely have a rather inappropriate altar to Mrs. Palin in you closet, I will forgive you for your zeal. I just wish that you would be a bit more understanding in the future.

May 3, 2010 10:18 AM Samel Samel  says: in response to Bill

what's wrong with Bush???you need to look an see who we have know...hahahahah what a joke!!!!!BUT ANY WAY..for the boy,you do the crime..you pay the time..

May 3, 2010 10:30 AM Rick Rick  says: in response to Samel

Even if Bush can say it he would applaud who we have now. As a person who we have now is not a joke...your ignorance is the real joke.

Can't deal with the fact a coloured man is in the WHITEHOUSE. Oh well.

May 3, 2010 11:20 AM Paul G. Paul G.  says:

The kid is a punk.....did the crime and now its time to pay the piper. 

I guess its ok for some of you if he we was serving the "noble" cause of looking for some tidbit to bring down Palin's candidacy.  The voters decided that anyway.

May 3, 2010 11:47 AM Rick Rick  says: in response to Paul G.

No one here is condoning his crime. As it is being played out no one really has to look for some tidbit to bring down Palin and it is not some noble quest. She is quite capable of doing that herself...just let her speak.

May 3, 2010 12:06 PM Rich Rich  says:

O.k. lets waste more money. So now lets free some drug dealers,a couple killers and maybe a few kiddie porn guys too because it to expensive to keep them locked up. Lock up the kid for 10 years then he can really learn to be a criminal.Who would you want next door some 22 old kid that did an easy hack of some incompetent computer user or Mr Kidd porn?

May 3, 2010 3:20 PM Will Will  says:

21 years for going into someone's e-mail...well, that's justice for you.

May 3, 2010 4:12 PM john john  says:

Here goes the race card again, have you people stopped to think there's as much of a white man in the white house as there is a black one. Either way he's crippleing this country to the point of no return.you're right about the kid though, he's a saint compaired to some of the people our white/black president surrounds himself with. Ooops, nobody is supposed to bring them up are they. Ya'll just keep your heads in the sand  & and blame Bush for everything wrong till Iran hits us straight in the face, that'll be Bush's fault to though. We all know our current president will never accept any responsibility for any thing wrong.Good thing President Bush is man enough to accept it all, even problems occurring years & years after his departure from office.

May 3, 2010 5:54 PM Jeff Jeff  says:

Since when did Bush run in the last election? just sayin...

May 4, 2010 8:43 AM Bill Bill  says: in response to Jeff

This is actually more than I would have expected people to comment on such an issue.

Everyone, I highly value your opinions and thank you for the thought that you have put into this matter.

I am sorry Russ, I made an error and assumed that by "the last election" everyone would realize that I meant the one prior, in which Bush ran, and not the most recent one. I of course realize the mistake and apologize for the confusion. The point of my argument was simply that John was not used to making informed decisions, and as such would be prone to blindly support someone like Palin when literally all of common wisdom would dictate that she should be dropped like a hot rock. I agree with you Rick, let the woman speak for herself.

Now for you in specific, John.

1. Iran is not even on the radar. With deployments down, morale teetering, and a foe that has a military almost half of the size of ours, there is no way we are attacking/invading them or anyone anytime soon.

2. To do so (and invade) would merely be a repeat of the current engagement, except that it would be harder fought and not really go anywhere.

3. There is no way that Iran would attack us, that would be suicidal for manifold reasons. Not the least of which that we have superior long ranged weapons.

And now, we come to the race thing. Race does not matter when you discuss policies. Race doesn't make you a better politician or a better human being. Leave race out of it. If you want to trash someone, trash what they've done, not what they look like.

Oh wait, all you say on THAT matter is that "our current president will never accept any responsibility..." As far as I can tell you have nothing but a half-baked and genuinely simple statement that cannot even be validated until AFTER our current President is out of office.

I highly suggest that you consider the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of your argument. Unless you are twelve, which I doubt you are, you can certainly be bothered to think more carefully about what you argue before you actually argue it.

Sure, you have a right to free speech. I encourage you to exercise it. But please think before you do, or else someone might question your credibility. Maybe they'll think bad things about you, or even insult you, maybe for the wrong reasons. I don't want to insult you John, so can you please give me a valid reason not to?

May 5, 2010 1:31 PM Bob Bob  says: in response to David Pelayo

Wow, David, you sound like you know the guy pretty well, or maybe you were on the jury?  I'm always amazed at how opinionated people are about things they know nothing about.  While I'm sitting here in amazement, I may as well ask what "God" has to do with computer hackers.  I mean, he's really old and probably just uses an adding machine to keep track of how many souls he has allowed into heaven and how many he has damned to burn in hell for eternity.  Although, maybe you're in touch with our all-knowing, all-powerful deity and he told you something important... could be.  Rest assured, however, the only REAL thing you managed to accomplish was to make yourself look like a tool.

May 5, 2010 6:13 PM David Pelayo David Pelayo  says: in response to Paul G.

I bet that little punk ass bitch isn't running his mouth now about how smart he is. His new name will be convict, a name he he earned because he chose to be a dumb ass bitch. If he hacked anything of mine prison would be the least of his concerns. God has a way of weeding out the stupid ones and thank God for that, because that is one less stupid bitch I have to live with. Amen

Jul 6, 2010 7:44 PM max max  says:

Seriously? I never actually realized he got into it that easily until I read this! WTF kind of moron does that? Sure it's a fine & quick method when you're looking to spam a friend with lots of porn & viagra advertisements but a politician running for VP? Was this kid just stupid, or did he honestly think that a potential vice president wouldn't have the the NSA, the FBI, & Homeland Security watching their butt not just at conventions but online as well? I bet this jack ass didn't even use a proxy when he did this.

This kid did the crime & deserves to do the time. I like how they keep calling him a "hacker" like he knows anything. My mom could do what he did. I think he should rot in jail not for the crime itself but for his utter ignorance & uber 1337 h4xorz methos he chose to use to do aforementioned crime. Way to FAIL kid. People like him, & all the idiot sheep online are the reason the net has become so dangerous now days.

Jul 6, 2010 7:51 PM max max  says: in response to Bob

I'm with David, his lack of tact aside, he's is right. You're obviously one of those people who make the net more dangerous simply by being ignorant. I'm not trying to be rude, just making this assumption because you too call this kid a "hacker" like the morons in the media do. This punk isn't even a Script Kiddie let alone a hacker. Any dumb ass could have done what he did, he was just stupid enough to actually do it, & not only did he do it, then he let the whole damn world KNOW he did it. He deserves to rot. Also Palin should be bopped on the head for being an idot & making it so damn easy for anyone to get into her account.


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