Computer Crime Research Center


Despite Rumors, Republican VP Candidate Is No Hacker

Date: September 01, 2008

Is Sarah Palin a hacker? Well, not exactly, but that's what a couple of articles and a nascent internet rumor might have you believe.

According to a 2007 article in Salon about Alaska's frontier politics, Palin, Senator John McCain's pick for his Republican running mate in the presidential election, "began her political career ... by hacking into the computer" of a co-worker in 2003.

Sounds intriguing, and possibly illegal, doesn't it?

Except there's more to the story than this.

According to the piece, Palin hacked a computer belonging to Randy Ruedrich, chairman of the Republican Party at the time and a fellow commissioner on Alaska's Oil and Gas Commission. She did it in order to uncover evidence of ethical wrongdoing on Ruedrich's part.

A noble motive, no doubt, but something that would still be considered illegal. That is, if you stopped reading there.
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