Palin Hacker Sentenced to a Year and a Day

I recently reported that the federal court in Tennessee refused to overturn the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act conviction of David Kernel, the 22 year-old college student who had hacked into the Yahoo! email account of then Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Kernel had been convicted after a jury trial last April. Today the Judge sentenced Kernel to a year and a day and recommended to the Bureau of Prisons that he serve his time in a halfway house. Given that then Governor Palin had released to the world all of the information that Kernel used to identify the password of her Yahoo! email account, there seems to have been a lost opportunity in this case to have argued that what Kernel did was not unauthorized access, a critical element for a CFAA conviction.