Friday, September 19, 2008

Sarah Palin and the Email Read ‘Round the World

A bizarre series of events have culminated to create a few new truths in this year’s political race to the White House: one, Sarah Palin seems to have something to hide; two, the microscope under which Palin lives just got amped up; and three, Palin is truly one of the biggest celebrities in the world…for now. How will this change John McCain’s celebrity attack ads? Not at all - yet one more reason his campaign is completely and totally derailed, failing spectacularly to connect with the American public on any real level.

The thing is, potential President John McCain isn’t news. Hell, the man isn’t even relevant. Today, the media revolves around Sarah Palin. Maybe tomorrow, too. Palin is now the subject of inspection and Internet interrogation, her every move to be dissected and discussed. When the private email of a very public figure becomes a matter of public record, what else do you expect?

What follows is a little confusing and hard to understand - unless, of course, you know the intricacies of government emails. It goes like this: official government email accounts are governed by certain laws which makes messages sent to and from the account a matter of government record. High-ranking government officials, like Governor Sarah Palin, are to use these government accounts to conduct their official business.

Sarah Palin may very well use her official email account…but that’s not the one which got hacked. What got hacked was Palin’s personal address ( - governor Palin). Palin was previously caught using a different yahoo address to conduct state business ( - a big no-no, as it were. Reportedly, this email account has already been investigated in conjunction with Troopergate.

Gawker has now posted screenshots and pictures which are allegedly from, allegedly a personal Palin account. The account is now deleted, which raises all sorts of different questions. Namely, does this account deletion also mean that evidence was deleted?

Is this truly the email of Sarah Palin? Gawker offered up some of the reasons why they think so. For starters, there were emails to Palin aide Ivy Frye on the account. The contact list seems chock-full of people Palin might want to mail (including her husband Todd). Public profiles for and were deleted at the exact same time. Emails sent through these Yahoo accounts are not subject to the Alaska Open Records Act - is that why Palin was using them?

The person who hacked the account, who it is believed has been using the name “Lurker,” revealed that they hacked the account through Yahoo’s Forgot Your Password? function. Palin’s birth date and zip code are easy enough to find, and Palin herself publicly revealed the answer to her private Yahoo security question (which asked where she met her husband, Todd). The Alaska Governor told the public in a speech that she met her hubby in High School. Everything sort of snowballed from there. Today, many are pointing the finger of blame at a 20-year-old male, the son of a Tennessee legislator, as the hacking Lurker. Internet email laws are ambiguous enough to potentially keep the hacker from facing any serious criminal charges.

Want to see the photos, the contact list, the emails themselves? Be your own judge and check out all the Gawker screenshots of what is allegedly the contents of Palin’s personal email inbox. Also be on the lookout for a nice, staid message from the Republican party which will attempt to exonerate Palin of any and all wrongdoing - sure to be coming to a headline near you.