Washington A group of computer hackers said Wednesday that they accessed a Yahoo e-mail account of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, publishing some of her private communications to expose what appeared to be her use of a personal account for government business.
The hackers posted what they said were personal photos, the contents of several messages, the subject lines of dozens of e-mails and Palin's e-mail contact list on a site called Wikileaks.org. That site said it received the electronic files from a group identifying itself only as "Anonymous."
"At around midnight last night some members affiliated with the group gained access to governor Palin's email account, 'email@example.com' and handed over the contents to the government sunshine site Wikileaks.org," said a message on the site.
Rick Davis, the campaign manager for Republican presidential nominee John McCain, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon condemning the incident.
"This is a shocking invasion of the governor's privacy and a violation of law," he said. "The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these e-mails will destroy them. We will have no further comment."
Palin has been criticized in recent days for using a personal e-mail account to conduct state business. An Alaska activist has filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking disclosure of e-mails from another Yahoo account Palin used, firstname.lastname@example.org.
That account appears to have been linked to the one that was hacked.
Andree McLeod, who filed the FOIA request, said Wednesday evening that Palin should have known better than to conduct state business using an unsecured e-mail account.
"If this woman is so careless as to conduct state business on a private e-mail account that has been hacked into, what in the world is she going to do when she has access to information that is vital to our national security interests?" she asked.