State lawmaker’s son charged with Palin email hacking

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David C. Kernell, son of Democratic Tennessee state lawmaker Mike Kernell, has pleaded not guilty on Wednesday after being indicted for breaking into the Yahoo email account of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

Kernell, 20, entered the plea in federal court in Knoxville, and was released without posting bond. However, he was told that he was forbidden to use the internet, except to check his email and to do class work.

Kernell is charged of intentionally accessing Palin’s Yahoo email account by using an weakness in Yahoo’s password reset fuction. Palin came under scrutiny for using her private email account to conduct official state business, and if those allegations are true, she faces violations of open government law, requiring all communications to be carried out on state-issued accounts.

His trial is set for December 16, and faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.