Tennessee Student Indicted for Palin E-Mail Hack

Son of state lawmaker pleaded not guilty to intentionally accessing a computer without authorization.

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A University of Tennessee student and son of a Democratic Tennessee state lawmaker was indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with the hacked E-mail account of Sarah Palin, the Associated Press reports.

David Kernell, 20, son of state Rep. Mike Kernell, pleaded not guilty to intentionally accessing a computer without authorization, the Justice Department said. If convicted, he faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a three-year term of supervised release. Kernell, an economics student at Tennessee, was released without posting bond, but the court forbade him from owning a computer and limited his Internet use to checking E-mail and doing class work.

The indictment alleges that in mid-September, he reset the password of Palin's Yahoo E-mail account by answering personal questions about Palin's life with information known to the public. He then gained access, read the contents, made screen shots of the account, and posted some of that information on a public site.