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  • Palin Hackers Face Jail Time for Making Internet Less Classy

    From triumph to terror—that’s the likely emotional roller coaster of the denizens of the “/b” message board on the 4chan website who hacked into Gov. Sarah Palin’s email account earlier this week. The toasts of the left-learning Internet on Tuesday, by this morning they knew themselves to be in the crosshairs of the FBI and Secret Service.

    Next stop: jail. That’s the law, and it’s a fair punishment for digital breaking and entering.

    According to British tech tabloid The Register, the hackers accesses Palin’s Yahoo account by way of a proxy, relaying all traffic through it to cloak their identities. The proxy’s owner promises to make his log data available to authorities, and it’s probably only a matter of time before that leads to living, breathing (nervous, sweating?) people.

    The most likely charge is hacking. Federal law prohibits virtual trespassing for the purposes of stealing information. So cracking the password to a governor’s email account and perusing her messages is a clear violation. The punishment: criminal fines and imprisonment of up to 5 years.

    Throw in a few conspiracy offenses—according to reports, a slew of “/b-tards” were in on the act—and the prison term could double.

    No, going after a major party’s vice presidential candidate was not smart: Police and prosecutors put extra effort into famous crimes.

    As for the media publishing Palin’s emails and family photos, shame on them, but it’s not against the law. In Bartnicki v. Vopper, the Supreme Court held that they have a First Amendment right to publish materials of public importance, even if illegally obtained, so long as the media doing the publishing committed no wrong itself.

    But just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s right. No one deserves to have their private correspondence stolen (not, as per the AP, “leaked”) and posted online for the world to see. It speaks to Palin’s classiness that nothing objectionable—not even a cuss—has come to light. Too bad that the press and online gossip-mongers don’t share that trait and take the material down.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to Palin Hackers Face Jail Time for Making Internet Less Classy

    1. Rob Varley, Port St says:

      Wouldn't the AP be charged with obstructing justice if they refuse to hand over the copies of the e-mails the FBI requested?

    2. Dave, laguna niguel, says:

      Has anyone ever noticed that most criminals are DEMOCRATS?

    3. Don, Colorado says:

      Jail time is appropriate.

    4. qizz says:

      Everyone so smart call this hacker so dumb.Do we have a sloppy hacker or a smart and devious hacker framing the kid?don't say no or act like you're so smart if you haven't considered it.If the I.P. Addy matches the kid in question yet it still doesn’t add up a then programs like netbus or back orifice with a built in wiping routine should be considered. These are common names for a trojan jacker that a hacker can take over your computer use it without you knowing it,then attack others with your computer address.It turns your computer into a proxy..after the deed is done it can erase itself and fill in where it was with random bytes. Anyone can download these programs off the net in a matter of three minutes..Remember M.O.M. (means,opportunity,& motive)Who really has all three? Palin…Let us not forget the bug Karl Rove found in his Texas office and the WHOLE story behind that!! What, you don’t know what I’m talking about? Well then just nevermind

    5. Robert Russell says:

      Speaking of software that can be used, why is it that some columnists, who depend so much on their spell checkers, never seem to read what they are about to publish? Obvious homonyms give the wrong meaning to a word, and cause the reader a mental shock when they occur.

    6. AdrianS, Temecula CA says:

      A 20-year-old is not a kid. This adult that perpetrated this crime of illegal email access is subject to prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. For premeditation and the commission of a criminal offense using the Internet and computers.

      Punishment should be at least 5 years in federal prison.

      This should serve to discourage attacks via computer hacking, which may lead to greater offenses of public endangerment.

    7. Forte, Undernet says:

      This is sad… he didn't "hack" anything. That stupid moron should have been using government systems not "Yahoo." He used password recovery- and thats to the fault of Yahoo. It was a loophole, and 5 years in Prison for exploiting a problem in yahoo is inappropriate.

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