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Accused Palin Hacker Says Stolen E-Mails Were Public Record

Accused Palin Hacker Says Stolen E-Mails Were Public Record
Accused Palin Hacker Says Stolen E-Mails Were Public Record

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By Kim Zetter
Threat Level
May 20, 2009

A surprise legal maneuver by the defense in the Sarah Palin hacking case 
could undermine key charges carrying the stiffest potential penalties.

A lawyer for the Tennessee college student charged with hacking into the 
Alaska governor=E2=80=99s Yahoo e-mail account last year says his client 
couldn=E2=80=99t have violated Palin=E2=80=99s privacy because a judge had already 
declared her e-mails a matter of public record.

=E2=80=9CHe=E2=80=99s not suggesting that e-mail can=E2=80=99t be private,=E2=80=9D says Mark Rasch, a 
former Justice Department cybercrime prosecutor. =E2=80=9CHe=E2=80=99s saying this 
particular e-mail was not private or personal because of who she is and 
because it wasn=E2=80=99t intimate communication. =E2=80=9D

Additionally, photos that 20-year-old David Kernell allegedly obtained 
of Palin and her family were not private since the Palins are =E2=80=9Cthe 
subjects of untold numbers of photo-ops,=E2=80=9D the lawyer argued last week, 
in one of a slew of motions and memorandums attacking the government=E2=80=99s 
four-count federal indictment against Kernell.


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