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BREAKING: Sarah Palin Yahoo! email account hacked

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, September 17 2008

It appears that someone has hacked into one or more of Sarah Palin's personal email accounts on Yahoo! and published some of the contents on the web. According to an entry on Wikileaks:

Circa midnight Tuesday the 16th of September (EST) activists loosely affiliated with the group 'anonymous' gained access to U.S. Republican Party Vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's Yahoo email account gov.palin@yahoo.com and passed information to Wikileaks. Governor Palin has come under criticism for using private email accounts to conduct government business and in the process avoid transparency laws. The zip archive made available by Wikileaks contains screen shots of Palin's inbox, two example emails, address book and a couple of family photos. The list of correspondence, together with the account name tends to re-enforce the criticism.

The list of emails include an exchange with Alaskan Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell about his campaign for Congress.

Another screenshot shows Palin's inbox and an e-mail from Amy McCorkell, whom Palin appointed to the Governor's Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in 2007.

The e-mail, a message of support to Palin, tells her not to let negative press get to her and asks Palin to pray for McCorkell, who writes that "I need strength to 1. keep employment, 2. not have to choose."

According to Kim Zetter of Wired Magazine, McCorkell confirmed that she did send the e-mail to Palin.

Following the release of this story, both Sarah Palin's better known account gov.sarah@yahoo.com and the gov.palin@yahoo.com account have been suspended or deleted as revealed by a test email sent to these addresses by Wikileaks. Although the reasons for the deletion of both accounts can not not yet be established, one interpretation is that Palin is trying to destroy her email records.

Wikileaks may release additional emails should they prove be of political substance.

I've asked several techPresident contributors to look into this story, and hopefully we'll have more to report soon. One very interesting element is the reference to "anonymous." This "group" -- a new kind of online network that up til now has been devoted to disruptive action against Scientology -- is very sophisticated and probably impossible to stop.