Saturday, October 11, 2008

Your E-Mail Is Safe Again

I know the DOJ is trying to make David Kernell sound like a dangerous "computer hacker," but the guy who exposed Sarah Palin's Yahoo e-mail account didn't really hack, he duped. He allegedly answered the standard security questions, reset her password, and posted the mailbox contents to Wikileaks.

Of course, this unauthorized access is a crime, but it's fascinating to watch the over-the-top hysteria from the same government that has been violating our privacy for years. Glenn Greenwald remarks on the irony:
The same political faction which today is prancing around in full-throated fits of melodramatic hysteria and Victim mode (their absolute favorite state of being) over the sanctity of Sarah Palin’s privacy are the same ones who scoffed with indifference as it was revealed during the Bush era that the FBI systematically abused its Patriot Act powers to gather and store private information on thousands of innocent Americans; that Homeland Security officials illegally infiltrated and monitored peaceful, law-abiding left-wing groups devoted to peace activism, civil liberties and other political agendas disliked by the state; and that the telephone calls of journalists and lawyers have been illegally and repeatedly monitored.
Of course, you would expect the right-wing pundits who have defended the surveillance state to announce "if Sarah Palin has nothing to hide, then she shouldn't be worried!" But of course they don't.

And of course, we all now know that Sarah Palin has indeed been trying to hide something -- her personal vendetta against state trooper Mike Wooten.

Here's where these crimes intersect. Governor Palin's exposed email account revealed that she had been violating the Open Records Act:
The bottom line is that Palin appears to have benefited from her decision to conduct state business using private channels. As governor, she has touted the need for accountability and transparency (even though she has withheld about 1100 emails involving her aides, citing dubious justifications). But because Palin used one or more non-state email accounts for official communications--perhaps improperly--she has created a costly mess for her administration's information officers and a situation in which emails from all her accounts will likely not become public before November 4. If her emails contain any information that might not reflect well upon Palin, the McCain-Palin campaign need not worry. Palin, wittingly or not, has engineered a delay that is the functional equivalent of a cover-up.
The exposed email also revealed her possible motive for using the Yahoo email account in the first place -- to hide her husband's involvement in official business.

So now, with good reason, some legal experts are questioning the indictment against David Kernell. If the email intrusion was not committed to further another crime, then it may not be a felony...

But don't expect that to get in the way of this Department of Justice. They will always protect their own. They might save us from one evil hacker, but that's meager consolation when you still live in a surveillance state.

No comments: