Tuesday, April 20, 2010

David Kernell Goes On Trial Today

The trial for the 22-year-old man accused of breaching Sara Palin's Yahoo account begins today. Former University of Tennessee student David Kernell faces up to 50 years in federal prison if he is convicted on all charges which include identity theft, mail fraud, intentionally accessing an account without authorization and obstruction of an FBI investigation. That an illegal act was committed the second Kernell broke into the account is indisputable. However, I have a hard time believing that anything much more than the charge of intentionally accessing an account without authorization will hold up. By all accounts, Kernell accessed the account, changed the password, and posted the results to a popular hacking website.

What really burns me is how this case is being portrayed in the media. Headlines have been screaming about how Kernell hacked into the account mainly because the term "hacker" strikes so much fear into the minds of the average American. Let's be clear on one thing: This guy was no hacker. He gained access to Palin's account by being able to consult online sources for the answers to her security questions. That's not hacking. That's one step below social engineering.

Because of how this story has been portrayed, the populace at large would rather dwell on the fear incited by the prospect of being hacked than the fact that an inept government official not only illegally conducted government business on a personal account in order to circumvent state record keeping laws, but did so in a manner that left the records of such business open to the sort of attack that Kernell conducted.

You tell me: Which is the scarier crime?

9 comments:

  1. You could be a lawyer :)

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  2. If I didn't know better, I'd say you've been having coffee with my mother.

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  3. ????????????????May 2, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    Coffee? Blech! Cappuccino is muccch mucchh better!

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  4. If you like Cappuccino, maybe you'd like coffee with french vanilla creamer.

    Now, I want an espresso. Haven't had one in ages.

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  5. ????????????????May 3, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    No, I have tried coffee with lots of different creamers. It's still gross! lol

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  6. It's an acquired taste. You'll learn to love it by the time you hit college.

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  7. You know I have wanted to go to where you work since I saw it when I was like 5. I called it "The Castle" lol

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  8. It's a good school. I only went there at the time because it was where my best friend at the time was going. You're mega-smart, though. You could possibly end up at a college with a REAL castle.

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  9. Awww Thanks lol

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