Reactions To Palin E-Mail Hack Follow Partisan Lines

hacking Web mail

Of course, it's difficult for partisans to admit that their opponents may have a point. In the case of Palin's hijacked Yahoo account, however, both sides are essentially correct.

The GOP's new political superstar is without a doubt a victim of a nasty cybercrime. At the same time ... Yahoo mail, governor? Surely you could have secured your e-mail correspondence more robustly, as any number of IT security experts are happy to point out.

Then there are the allegations that Palin may have conducted official business on her private e-mail account. Anne Weismann of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) -- the not-for-profit watchdog group that has taken on the Bush Administration over alleged e-mail policy and archiving violations -- takes issue with Palin's use of a Web mail account:

Meanwhile, now that speculation about the hacker's identity has turned towards David Kernell, the son of a Democratic state legislator from Tennessee, we expect that Palin supporters will ratchet up their allegations that the e-mail breach was a political dirty trick by liberals, perhaps even by the Obama-Biden campaign itself.

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That may yet turn out to be true, although from our point of view it's extremely unlikely. This cyber-attack is shaping up to be the work of one liberal, minus the plural -- and there's no evidence we've seen that it's the work of anyone officially connected to the Obama-Biden campaign.

Furthermore, the hacker's apparent association with the infamous "griefer" image board known as "/b/" on the Website points towards an individual who might not be political at all. The denizens of that particular Internet sewer are well-known to be equal-opportunity misanthropes, as opposed to partisan operatives.

Yet an Obama connection is strongly implied in this post:

Mere coincidence or more Obama dirty tricks? Nobody can say yet but we will all know soon.

There are a couple things wrong with the post. First, Gabriel Ramuglia isn't "an internet security expert located in San Francisco," as the blogger reports. Rather, Ramuglia is the owner of the browsing proxy service that the hacker or hackers are suspected of using to (rather pathetically) hide their trail while hacking into Palin's e-mail account and posting directions for how to others could do the same on 4chan.

And while Ramuglia's proxy servers are indeed located in Chicago, a commenter calling himself "Gabriel Ramuglia" actually appears on the message thread to clarify that the hacker or hackers probably weren't based in "Obama's hometown":

Ahh, the Internet. Its twists and turns never cease to amaze. And while we can't be sure "Gabriel Ramuglia" is who he says he is, we think he's probably right about the hacker not likely being located in Chicago. If only because Chicago is just one of thousands of locations from which those Chicago-based proxy servers could have been accessed.

Finally, in what might be the most amusing conclusion-jumping by a Palin fan to date, we give you Dr. Melissa Clouthier:

Wow. Just wow.

Wow, indeed. Tying rumored Palin hacker David Kernell to Obama campaign manager Plouffe would be a break of Watergate proportions. And the search suggested above does indeed lead to a page about Kernell that features a video of Plouffe. But is that really evidence of a personal connection between those two individuals?

Only if you think Kernell is also pals with the people in the 21 other videos that appear on that search page -- including David Bowie, David Archuleta, David Hasselhoff and David Letterman. If you've noticed that that's a lot of "Davids", then you've probably guessed that Plouffe's presence on the video list has more to do with his first name than any connection to Kernell.

But who knows? Maybe the kid also "did the video" for David Bowie's "Space Oddity" track -- which was released 20 years before Kernell was even born.