A federal grand jury indicted David Kernell, 20, for breaking into Sarah Palin’s Yahoo! email account, said the New York Post in an editorial, and “prosecutors need to take this case very seriously.” Kernell faces five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. But while this invasion of privacy crossed the line from “acceptable political activity,” Kernell “certainly doesn’t deserve to have one mistake ruin his life.”
Why not? said Scott McPherson in Computerworld. Prosecutors need to “refuse a deal, convict him on all counts, and incarcerate him for the full” five years. I’d feel the same if he’d “hacked Obama’s Blackberry.” Even if it wasn’t a “dirty trick”—Kernell’s dad is a Democratic state legislator—we have enough trouble with identity theft without “arrogant punks” like Kernell.
Oh, come on, said Radley Balko in Reason online. “Which is worse”—the governor of Alaska “using private email accounts to conduct official state business” to avoid oversight, or “some dumb kid guessing her personal information” and reading her email? And “what does it say that the latter is facing charges, but the former isn’t?”