Home Campaigning with Technology: Palin’s Email Hack Remains One of the Few Negatives

Campaigning with Technology: Palin’s Email Hack Remains One of the Few Negatives

Today, the US Department of Justice announced the indictment of David Kernell, the 20-year old son of a Tennessee state representative, on allegations of hacking vice-presidential-candidate Sarah Palin’s Yahoo! Mail account.

The indictment alleges that Kernell gained access to Palin’s Yahoo! Mail account, changed the password, took screenshots of the contents, and posted both the password and images to the Web. In a video interview (after the jump), famed former-hacker Kevin Mitnick says Kernell could face a harsh penalty.

The indictment carries with it a potential $250,000 fine and up to five years in prison. The official indictment can be found here.

Upon hearing the news, G4’s Attack of the Show asked famed former-hacker, Kevin Mitnick, to provide some insight on what a guilty verdict might mean for Kernell:

In a campaign that has been largely waged online, this email hack and its resulting fall out remain one of the few negative uses of technology that has been reported.

In fact, we’ve seen any number of positive stories about the compelling uses of technology and social media during this presidential race. Those uses – from Barack Obama’s use of social media to the usability of John McCain’s site – are highlighted on a nightly basis in living rooms across the United States.

As election day draws near, it will be interesting to see if the campaigns continue to pursue the appropriate use of technology – and continue to eschew nefarious efforts – as part of the political machine.

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