4chan hacker who cracked Palin’s email gets 1 year, 1 day in custody

By David Edwards
Friday, November 12, 2010 12:18 EDT
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A former University of Tennessee student who was convicted of hacking into Sarah Palin’s e-mail during the 2008 presidential election has been sentenced to a year and a day in custody.

A federal judge recommended Friday that David Kernell serve his time in at the Midway Rehabilitative Center on Magnolia Avenue in Knoxville, a halfway house, instead of prison.

Kernell was also sentenced to three years probation. The Bureau of Prisons will decide if he is allowed to go to the halfway house.

Kernell’s attorney had asked the judge not to sentence him to custody and instead wanted only probation. The attorney noted that similar cases had resulted in probation.

Court documents showed that prosecutors argued for 18 months in prison.

A federal court in Knoxville found Kernell guilty in April of hacking into Palin’s emails.

Both Palin and her daughter testified in the case.

Prosecutors say that Kernell got access to Palin’s e-mail by resetting the password. He used publicly available information to help complete the infiltration.

Kernell, using the pseudonym “Rubico” on the popular 4chan website, said that he wanted to find something that “would derail her campaign.”

“There was nothing there, nothing incriminating — all I saw was personal stuff, some clerical stuff from when she was governor,” Kernell wrote.

Kernell is the son of longtime Democratic Tennessee state representative Mike Kernell.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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