NewsBusters looks into my original Palin email scandal post. Here are their concerns and my response

Here’s the original post.

And here’s NewsBuster’s concerns:

  • I haven’t seen any evidence that the screenshot mentioned above was taken by “rubico.” It could be it was taken by the person who changed the password and informed Palin’s friend.
  • Even if it is, rubico was likely using a proxy when he/she came in to NewsBusters so all we’d have is rubico’s proxy’s IP.
  • We don’t know necessarily what time zone Palin had set on her Yahoo account. Could be she had set it for Alaska time which is 4 hours behind our server which is on Eastern time, could be she left it at the default which is Pacific Time as I remember.
  • We don’t know when the person who took the screenshot visited our NB page. Could be it was the 15th, could be it was the 16th. The screenshot in question could have been taken long after the email password was changed. We also don’t know when our NB visitor came in here in relation to the screenshot.

Let me go through these concerns one by one because they have all crossed my mind at one point or another:

1. I am absolutely positive that the screenshot NB is talking about IS from Rubico himself. I make this judgment based off of what Michelle Malkin (and others) have been reporting about what Rubico said on 4chan.com and what appears in the screenshot. You see, Rubico says while looking for an answer to one of the security questions he searched for the term “palin husband eloped” (which is what the search term is in the screenshot) on google and guess what the number two ranking site for that term is? Yup, Classless Alan Colmes: OMG the Palins Eloped! by NewsBusters (its the #1 result for palin eloped). And it seems really unlikely that anybody else other than Rubico would care to be doing the research that is evident in the screenshot i referenced. Also if you go through the other screen shots posted on Gawker you can easily tell which ones are from Rubico and which ones are from the so called “white knight”. All you need to do is look at the URL in each screen shot, the ones by the “white knight” are not sheilded by a proxy where as all of the Rubico screenshots are sheilded by ctunnel.com’s proxy service.

2. I thought that for a second as evidenced by the first update. However, after some further observation I can now say confidently that he was NOT sheilded by a proxy when viewing the NewsBusters post, he only used the proxy on the yahoo site. There is a simple way to tell, all you have to do is look at the tabs in the screenshot. Unlike the yahoo, which shows the proxy url as the title of the tab, the Newsbusters tab shows the actual title of the story. Therefor he was NOT using a proxy to visit the NewsBusters post. Let me use some pictures to illustrate what I’m talking about:

Here is the close up of Rubico’s screenshot (Click on the pictures for their full size versions):

And here is what the tab looks like when you visit the NewsBusters post through the ctunnel.com proxy Rubico used to hack Palin’s email:

And here is a comparison of Rubico’s non-proxy visit to NewsBusters and my proxied visit (Rubico is on top and my visit is on the bottom):

So as you can see through the pictures… he wasn’t using a proxy to visit NewsBusters. Which means they do have his actual IP address, somewhere.

3. Yea the time zone thing could be a minor problem. I guess it means that NewsBusters would have to check their logs for a visitor from the University of Tennesse, where David Kernell goes to school, at 4:23am EST and Pacific Time which I guess would be 8:23 am EST. But I would assume that’s possible? I don’t understand why it wouldn’t be?

But while I can’t be positive about the time zone for the email in the screenshot I think that we can safely guess that it is EST because, according to a report by Malkin, the original post by the hacker came around 4am EST (4chan.com shows times in EST) on Tuesday. If the email had referred to Pacific Time then the earliest Rubico could’ve posted something would’ve been 8:23 am EST.

4. Well, according to a tech-savvy guest over at Malkin:

Sarah Palin’s email account was hacked by one person. Not a group.

This person read her emails, then posted the username and password on /b/. This happened at about 4 in the morning on Tuesday.

Combine that with what Rubico said himself (again via Malkin):

THIS internet was serious business, yes I was behind a proxy, only one, if this s*** ever got to the FBI I was f*****, I panicked, i still wanted the stuff out there but I didn’t know how to rapids*** all that stuff, so I posted the pass on /b/, and then promptly deleted everything, and unplugged my internet and just sat there in a comatose state”.

Basically what he’s saying in this later post (from Wednesday) is that he almost immediately uploaded the info he had and then deleted everything because he got scared. That would mean that his screenshot must have come from sometime after 4:23 am EST and sometime before 5am EST. But since the visit to the NewsBusters website was for research on the answer to a Yahoo mail security question I would assume that it came sometime before 4:23 am EST and he probably only registered 1 pageview, since he would only have been interested in one piece of information from NewsBusters, where Todd and Sarah Palin met.

After all of this I really think there are several things we can learn about these screenshots. They are, in fact, from Rubico. They show he is on a NewsBusters post while hacking into Palin’s email. They show that he is NOT using a proxy to view the NewsBuster post. They give us a specific time frame that he was on the NewsBusters post. Those things are important because they mean that NewsBusters, most likely, can figure out if David Kernell (or rather someone from the University of Tennessee, who I would assume is David Kernell) was on that specific post durring that specific time frame. Is it evidence that you could use in court? Certainly not, but is it enough to get one step closer to convincing me and put a clearer focus on Kernell? Absolutely.

Also, on a side note, NewsBusters said: “We have the log files at our disposal should the feds come asking for more details. I’m not holding my breath for a request, however, based on the above reasons.”

Now, I still agree that the feds most likely will not be looking into this lead because of how circumstantial it is but I decided that I should submit my original post to the FBI. I figured it couldn’t hurt…

And shortly after I submitted my original post as a tip I got an interesting visitor to that post.

Here is a screenshot of that visit:

Yup… the Department of Justice. And they only looked at that site. And they looked at the full size versions of every picture.

Probably a coincidence…

But still Interesting, isn’t it?

UPDATE: Check out this hilarious tirade from the LA Times… they complain that the conservative blog-o-sphere is jumping to conclusions to fast and without enough evidence. Oh LAT, you’re ironic outrage makes me giggle. (but let’s not disregard their point completely, let’s all keep in mind that there is no hard proof against anyone, yet)(Allah made this point already)

BIG UPDATE: FBI searched David Kernell’s apartment?

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