Popular running joke and would-be American Vice President Sarah Palin can apparently now add 'email security' to the list of things she doesn't know much about, to go alongside foreign policy, domestic policy, her own record, and what the Vice President's job actually is. News has broken - and had rapidly gone epidemic throughout the tubes of the internets - that members of the Anonymous group (the anarchic internet prankster-protesters who've also got it in for Scientology) allegedly managed to gain access to one of her private Yahoo! Mail accounts.
The password details of her firstname.lastname@example.org account were posted to the /b/ messageboard of 4Chan, a wild and lawless place where most of the fun and terrible things on the internet originate. This resulted in a large number of people trying to access the account, which alerted Yahoo! and led to the account being locked. However, before the account got shut down, screenshots of Palin's inbox and some emails were taken. It seems to be for real; if it's a hoax, it's a rather elaborate one.
While the majority of the mail consists of family photos and boring messages of support - there's no smoking gun emails with subject lines like RE: Our sceret plan to destroy the world - it could get very interesting if anybody managed to dump the full email archive before the account was locked. Because it's already been widely reported that Palin and her associates used their private emails for conducting government business, in order to avoid the archiving and oversight that governmental email addresses are subject to.
As Palin and her aides are currently refusing to co-operate with an investigation into whether she and her staff pressured Alaska's Public Safety Commissioner to fire a state trooper with whom she had a personal dispute - and then fired the Commissioner when he refused - then an archive of the emails she sent during the time could prove highly damaging.
However, for now, interested parties will have to be content with the currently released screenshots, which can be seen on Gawker and WikiLeaks. Did anybody get anything more substantial? WikiLeaks do note, enigmatically, that they 'may release additional emails should they prove be of political substance.'
For now, however, this is more about the lulz than a major political scandal in the making - and certainly doesn't seem likely to hurt Palin's chances of becoming the Most Powerful Alaskan Ever.
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