In late 2008, David C. Kennel obtained the Yahoo email address of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and then used simple deduction to answer the “challenge question” that would grant access to her password and subsequently to her email inbox.
Kennel, son of Tennesse Democratic state representative Mike Kennel, got access to Palin’s Yahoo email account while the former Governor was on the Republican presidential campaign with Arizona Senator John McCain. Kennel posted some of the contents of Palin’s email account online, including both “work-related” and personal information, such as the mobile phone number of her daughter Bristol Palin.
Today, the 22 year old was convicted by a federal jury of one count of misdemeanor unauthorized access to obtain information from a computer, and one count of obstruction of justice. He was found not guilty of wire fraud, and the identity theft charge was dropped after it was declared a mistrial.
Kennel faces a maximum of one year in prison and a 0,000 fine for accessing Palin’s email account, reading the contents, taking screenshots of e-mails and personal information and posting them on the internet.
The obstruction of justice charge is a bit more serious. After Kennel learned of a possible FBI investigation into his behavior, he deleted records and documents that pointed to him. For doing this, his charge is 20 years in prison and a 0,000 fine.
If Kennel was found guilty of all four of the charges, he would have faced up to 50 years in prison.