Student Indicted in Case Involving Hacking Palin's E-MailBy Michael Falcone
A Tennessee college student was arraigned on Wednesday on charges related to breaking into Gov. Sarah Palin's private e-mail account last month and later posting several messages as well as the contents of the Republican vice presidential candidate's address book to the Internet
According to a statement from the F.B.I., David C. Kernell was indicted by a federal grand jury in Knoxville, Tennessee, for "intentionally accessing without authorization" Ms. Palin's Yahoo e-mail account. The indictment was unsealed today.
Mr. Kernell turned himself in "as soon as we found out about the charges this morning," and entered a plea of not guilty, according to his lawyer, who spoke with reporters after the arraignment. Mr. Kernell, 20, is an economics major at the University of Tennessee and is the son of Tennessee state legislator, Mike Kernell, a Democrat from Memphis.
The F.B.I. said that the younger Mr. Kernell allegedly hacked into the account in mid-September by resetting Gov. Palin's password. According to investigators, he opened and took screen-shots of the content of her in-box, individual messages and other personal information.
The Web site Wikileaks posted some of those screen shots, including an e-mail exchange between Ms. Palin and Alaska's lieutenant governor, Sean Parnell, as well as an associate, Amy McCorkell, who Ms. Palin appointed to a state drug and alcohol advisory board last year.
At the time, the McCain campaign called the hacking episode "a shocking invasion of the Governor's privacy and a violation of the law." Mr. Kernell had been the subject of speculation in connection with the crime for weeks.
If convicted, Mr. Kernell faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a three year term of supervised release, the F.B.I. said. A trial date was set for December.
P.O. Box 3867
Skype ID : Kayisa66