Is The Indictment Of The Palin Email Hacker Legally Correct?
from the truthiness dept
Now it's looking like the recent indictment of a teenager for breaking into Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin's email may be facing a similar situation. We had already noted that Justice Department's own definition of the law might make it difficult to prosecute the hacker. However, now a friend sent over an interesting analysis of the indictment itself, by Orrin Kerr, which suggests the entire indictment is legally flawed. Specifically, the statute used, claims that the intrusion is only a felony if used to further a criminal activity.
As Kerr notes, it's not clear what criminal activity was "furthered" by hacking into the email -- unless you read the whole thing recursively, such that the act itself is illegal, and thus doing it is furthering that illegal act. But, obviously, that's legally problematic. So once again, it looks like a situation where plenty of people believe that the act was illegal (very reasonably so, I might argue), but the feds are having trouble finding a law that actually makes it illegal. So, do we have any Colbertian suggestions for what this should be called? Illegalism? Illeginess? Illegfulness?