The Department of Justice has indicted David C. Kernell, the 20-year-old son of a Democratic Tennessee state representative, for "intentionally accessing without authorization" Gov. Sarah Palin's Yahoo email account, the Justice Department announced today.
Kernell turned himself in for arrest and will be arraigned today.
According to the indictment (PDF):
5. On or about September 16, 2008, while residing in Tennessee, defendant Kemell gained unauthorized access to the e-mail account gov.palin@yahoo,com, by resetting the password using Yahoo's password-recovery tool. Specifically, he reset the password to "popcorn" by researching and correctly answering a series of personal security questions.AP reports trial is set for Dec. 16. If convicted, Kernell faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a three-year term of supervised release.
6. Once defendant Kernell established control over the e-mail account by changing the password, he read the contents and made screenshots of the e-mail directory, e-mail content, and other personal infomiation (sic). The personal information included, and was not limited to, other e-mail addresses of family members, pictures of family members, at least one cell phone number of a family member, the dates of birth of Governor Palin and another family member, and Governor Palin's address book for her Yahoo e-mail account. The screenshots of personal information obtained from the email@example.com account were posted to a public website on the Internet known as http://www-4CHAN.org. Defendant Kernell posted the reset password, thus providing the means of access to the e-mail account to others.