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UPDATE:  Apparently, I was wrong.  The group “Anonymous” are not only hackers.  Many of them are not hackers at all.  To be honest, I am not quite sure what to make of the group.  That is not the only place I was wrong – they are apparently NOT responsible for hacking into Sarah Palin’s email.  (If some tech savvy person wants to disagree about the phrase ‘hacking into Sarah Palin’s email” – that’s fine.  But for the vast majority of the American population, we’ll refer to it and more sophisticated attacks as hacking)

A college student and son of a Tennessee legislator is now the focus of the investigation, per US News and World Report:

The FBI has searched the apartment of a 20-year-old University of Tennessee student in connection with the hacking of Sarah Palin’s Yahoo E-mail account, according to WBIR and CNet. Agents searched the apartment of David Kernell early Sunday morning. Kernell also happens to be the son of Democratic Tennessee state Rep. Mike Kernell. No charges have been filed, but three of his roommates were subpoenaed to testify to a grand jury this Tuesday.

Witnesses say agents came to the apartment around midnight during a party, took down the names of partygoers, and spent almost two hours taking photos of the place, according to the Washington Post.

Agents are trying to identify who gained access to the vice presidential candidates’ E-mail account by using her birthdate, ZIP code, and information about where she met her spouse—all public knowledge at this point—to reset her password to “popcorn.”

So, there you have it.  I was wrong about Anonymous.  The attack was politically motivated and perpetrated by a partisan, not anyone else.  That said, my column as written on the day the story broke is below.

— Media Lizzy

As we discussed on my show earlier today, and many thanks to Eric Dondero for the updates – a group of anti-Scientology hackers that reportedly call their organized effort “Anonymous” – have hacked into the private Yahoo email account of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.  They subsequently published screenshots, and pictures of her children.  Some news accounts are including these images – I will not.

This criminal behavior reflects poorly on the hackers themselves but also is more more event in a rather disturbing trend of radical, invasive, and occasionally violent behavior of Obama supporters.  (For more on why I say violent, please refer to the violent protests that ‘Anonymous’ participated in during the GOP Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota earlier this month)

What I find fascinating is this type of behavior emanates from the same crowd who oppose Domestic surveillance of terrorists, and the Patriot Act — but when they can utilize technology to invade the privacy of a Republican — they see that as an act of public service.

McCain-Palin 2008 Campaign Manager Rick Davis just issued the following statement concerning reports about Governor Palin’s email and an invasion of privacy:

“This is a shocking invasion of the Governor’s privacy and a violation of law. The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these emails will destroy them. We will have no further comment.”

Photo Credit: Caleb Howe, AOL News