Page last updated at 11:20 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 12:20 UK

Student suspect in Palin hacking

Sarah Palin on the campaign trail in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 22 Sept
The McCain campaign condemned the attack on Mrs Palin's personal e-mail

The son of a Democratic politician is being investigated over the hacking of US Republican running mate Sarah Palin's e-mail, US media reports say.

A local TV station in Tennessee said FBI agents had searched the home of 20-year-old student David Kernell, son of state congressman Mike Kernell.

The hackers posted e-mails online after accessing the private Yahoo account.

David Kernell has not returned calls, the AP news agency said. His lawyer said it was a "difficult period".

His father, a Democratic member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, has declined to discuss the possibility his son might be involved in the case, the AP said.

FBI investigators reportedly searched the apartment of David Kernell, a student at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, over the weekend.

Witnesses told the local BBIR-TV station in Knoxville the investigators had spent up to two hours there.

No charges have been filed in connection with the case.

'Invasion of privacy'

Mrs Palin's personal e-mail account and another she owned,, have now been deleted.

As well as a number of e-mail messages, the hackers also posted screenshots of the Alaska governor's inbox, address book and family photographs to the Wikileaks whistle-blowing site.

Republican presidential contender John McCain's campaign team last week condemned the action against his running mate as a "shocking invasion of the governor's privacy and a violation of law".

The hackers used the CTunnel proxy service which routes web browsing through an intermediary to obscure where the attackers were based.

However, the screenshots for the attack reveal the original web address used by the proxy which experts said might help investigators track down those responsible.

The attack occurred as questions were being asked about whether Mrs Palin used her personal e-mail accounts to carry out state business.

US law states that all e-mails relating to the official business of government must be archived, not destroyed. However, it does allow for personal e-mails to be deleted.

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Rocky Mountain News Palin hacking: Dem lawmaker's son's apartment searched 95 comments - 4 hrs ago
The Register Grand jury fails to level charges in Palin hack case - 6 hrs ago
Sydney Morning Herald Democrat's son searched over Palin hack - 13 hrs ago
The Sun News Hunt for Palin hacker shaping up to be simple case - 25 hrs ago
Juneau Empire FBI searches home in Palin hacking case - 28 hrs ago

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