The Spectacle Blog

AP Breaks Embargo on Palin Hack

By on 9.22.08 | 1:36PM

Associated Press bulletin 12:57 p.m. ET:

WASHINGTON (AP) Law enforcement officials say the FBI has searched the home of the son of a top Democratic state lawmaker in Tennessee as part of its investigation into the hacking of Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account. The officials say agents searched David Kernell's Knoxville home over the weekend.

This is the first national MSM coverage of the Kernell investigation, which has previously been left to Tennessee media and bloggers. The LA Times had sneered at bloggers for conducting an online "lynching."

UPDATE 1:50 p.m.: Now the full AP story:

The FBI searched the residence of the son of a Democratic state lawmaker in Tennessee over the weekend looking for evidence linking the young man to the hacking of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account, two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press on Monday. . . .
Experts said the hacker apparently left an easy trail for investigators.
"He might as well have taken a picture of his house and uploaded it," said Ken Pfeil, an Internet security expert. "He should have just set up a big beacon that said, 'Here's my house,' or confessed. If they can't catch this guy based on all the information posted on the Web then all bets are off."

It really wasn't that hard to figure out.

UPDATE: Computer World reports that the Georgia-based proxy service provider Ctunnel helped lead the FBI to the Knoxville apartment by identifying the hacker's ISP. Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney declined to comment on that report.

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