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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Hacker Who Illegally Accessed Sarah Palin’s Email Gets Prison Time

Sarah Palin/ official photo

By Allan Lengel

David C. Kernell, the son of a Tennessee state lawmaker, was sentence Friday to one year and one day in prison for hacking into Sarah Palin’s email during the 2008 presidential campaign, the Justice Department said.

Kernell, 23, was convicted in April after a week-long trial on one count of misdemeanor unauthorized access to obtain information from a computer and one count of obstruction of justice.

Authorities had charged that Kernell, who was a University of Tennessee student, illegally accessed Palin’s email account by resetting the account password.

Authorities said he accessed the email by answering a series of security questions that allowed him to reset the password and gain access.

Federal authorities said Kernell read the contents of the account and made screenshots of the e-mail directory, e-mail content, and other personal information.

He then posted posted screenshots of the e-mails and other personal information to a public website.

During sentencing, he said, according to the Associated Press:

“I am not going to make any kind of excuses. I’d like to apologize to the Palin family.”

He is the son of state Rep. Mike Kernell, D-Memphis.

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