KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE-- A Former University of Tennessee student has been sentenced to one year and one day in prison for hacking into Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's email, prosecutors said Friday.
David Kernell, 22, was arrested in 2008, during the U.S. presidential elections in which Palin was the Republican Vice Presidential candidate.
Kernell was found guilty of obstruction of justice and unauthorized access to a computer, but was acquitted on a charge of wire fraud.
While defense attorney Wade Davies pushed for probation, arguing that Kernell used publicly available information to guess his way into the e-mail in a prank, Palin had previously stated that an "illegal action like this" is not a prank, considering its impact during a presidential election.
Using search engines to find Palin's personal information to answer security questions in her email's forgotten password recovery section, Kernell was able to change Palin's email password and post it online for others to enter and view the account.
The federal judge recommended Kernell serve his prison term at the Midway Rehabilitation Center in Knoxville, but the Federal Bureau of Prison will later determine the final decision. In addition, Kernell will be serving three years of probation.
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