A person who identified himself as the student's father, when reached at home, said he could not talk about the matter and would have no comment. The father is a Democratic state representative in Tennessee.Threat Level kept the identity of the suspect confidential pending further investigation, but Gateway Pundit indentified the suspect as David Kernell, and the father is Democratic Representative Mike Kernell. David Kernell has been contacted by the FBI, and Representative Kernell's personal home page has been taken down.
According to the Knoxville Tennessean:
The son of state Rep. Mike Kernell has been contacted by authorities in connection with a probe into the hacking of personal e-mail of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Kernell told The Tennessean.
Note too, that despite the widespread rejection of political or ideological motives behind the Anonymous group's attack on Governor Palin, reports on the initial security breach among 4Chan hackers show disappointment that no incriminating evidence against Palin was found - a fact which supports the contention of an extreme left-wing ideological agenda to destroy the Palin family:
The generally apolitical 4chan pranksters, who have now been widely profiled in the media, are known less for their social activism than for their propensity for pulling online stunts designed to evoke maximum anger, shock and disgust.
But now the anonymous participants on 4chan's /b/ bulletin board--the home base of their community and launching pad for their pranks--seem to feel they blew a chance to do some real damage.
According to accounts so far, and chatter on /b/ itself, shortly after the password information to Palin's account was posted on the board, the account became inaccessible, either because too many people tried to access it at once, or because a dissenter from within /b/ changed the password.
Either way, the amount of information retrieved from the Palin account appears to be relatively small. A screen shot of Palin's account shows it contained 84 unread e-mails and possibly hundreds more, but only two have made their way online, suggesting the rest were not saved before the account was locked. If they were, wouldn't we have seen them online by now?
"/b/ is now 'epic fail /b/' for not finding anything good in Palin's e-mail," wrote one anonymous commenter on the site, slamming the board with /b/'s highest-order insult. "Seriously, /b/. We could have changed history and failed, epically."
"I agree," said another. "This is epic fail. How can there not be something good in those messages?"
One of the bits of data that appears to have been taken from the account is a text-only list of all the e-mails contained in its Inbox, including the subjects and names of the senders. The list, linked here, looks authentic and matches with the data in the screenshots of the account. (Note: this link was having trouble Wednesday night because of interest in this story.)
As I noted previously, Anonymous is claimed to have no political agenda, although the group has staged nationwide protests against the Church of Scientology, and is characterized ideologically as an anarchist organization:
From what I can gather, they likely think of themselves more as TRUTHTELLERS with an anarchist strain, and so may be of the left-libertarian anarchist bent.
While the hackers under suspicion may have been politically confused, the broader 4Chan membership fits the anarchist ideological specification of utopian revolutionaries who can be placed at the extreme left-wing of the political spectrum. As part of their ideology, anarchists are opposed to religion (coercive religious institutionalism, in particular). Hence, Anonymous' current hate campaign against Scientology - an organization identified as either a controversial religion or an opportunistic financial pyramid - reflects an anti-authoritian, anti-capitalist ideological agenda
... there is widespread speculation about who was behind the attack and what the motivation was.
Jose Nazario, a senior security engineer with Arbor Networks Inc., said he knows “through personal contacts” that members of the group Anonymous were involved in the Palin e-mail attack.
He said Anonymous is a loose network of a few dozen people who live in the United States and abroad and range from teenagers to 30-year-olds who share what he said is a “sociopathic sense of humor.”
One of the more fascinating aspects of the Anonymous is the group's "plausible deniability." Plausible deniability is the notion that members of an organization can evade blame for their actions in the haze of an amorphous or non-existent chain of command. Members or supporters of Anonymous can act in any way illegally, and leave no evidence of wrongdoing or abuse. Thus, in theory, there's no one to be held responsible.
What better way for the Democrats to destroy Sarah Palin than to infilitrate the 4Chan network with Democratic Party insiders, who can then claim that Anonymous in fact has no political agenda, and no formal organization structure?
Too bad for them, the hackers weren't the brightest kids on the block. The radical left has completely endorsed the Palin security breach, and the episode provides one more example in a long chain of depravities this year that has totally discredited any claims to moral decency among those on the hardcore Democratic-left.