Share/E-mail This Story

Email This



After All That, The Original 'Cyberstalking' Complaint That Created Petraeus Scandal Is Dropped

from the digging-around-for-nothing dept

What has been somewhat forgotten in the ensuing situation that resulted in General David Petraeus stepping down from his post at the top of the CIA, is that the whole thing started when his mistress and biographer Paula Broadwell was accused of "cyberstalking" by another woman, Jill Kelley. That led to a chain of events, including having the FBI go through various email accounts, exposing the affair and some other soap opera-y stuff involving generals. And, in the end, the original cyberstalking charge, that kicked it all off, is being dropped. Of course, that only raises even more questions about why the FBI went snooping through everyone's emails in the first place.
It was always questionable for the FBI to pursue a cyberstalking investigation against Broadwell, who used an anonymous email account, “kelleypatrol,” to tell Florida-based military officers like Marine Gen. John Allen that socialite Kelley was bad news. One former federal prosecutor told Danger Room that it was “highly irregular” for the FBI to take up such cases.
While some insist that it's fine for the FBI to snoop through Petraeus' emails given his position, it seems like they should have had much more of a reason than "hey, someone's bothering someone else online."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Pickle Monger (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 3:50pm

    FBI involvement

    My understanding is that the reason FBI got involved was because the original complainant asked her FBI friend to take a look at the e-mails she had received. Having read those e-mails, the FBI special friend agent saw that the sender had details of calendar and itinerary of the director of the CIA. Only then did it become an official FBI investigation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 3:59pm

    Mike doesn't even suspect there's more to it.

    You'd be sort of right if you'd inserted "allegedly" above about the story, but it surely ain't more than the public excuse. No one in such high position would resign over mere marital infidelity. Heck, neither P's wife nor Broadwell's husband seem to be upset: what has NOT happened seems even more revealing.

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/mhastings/the-sins-of-general-david-petraeus

    "There’s his war record in Iraq, starting when he headed up the Iraqi security force training program in 2004. He’s more or less skated on that, including all the weapons he lost, the insane corruption, and the fact that he essentially armed and trained what later became known as “Iraqi death squads.” On his final Iraq tour, during the so-called "surge," he pulled off what is perhaps the most impressive con job in recent American history. He convinced the entire Washington establishment that we won the war.

    He did it by papering over what the surge actually was: We took the Shiites' side in a civil war, armed them to the teeth, and suckered the Sunnis into thinking we’d help them out too. It was a brutal enterprise — over 800 Americans died during the surge, while hundreds of thousands of Iraqis lost their lives during a sectarian conflict that Petraeus’ policies fueled."

    Best speculation I've seen is that the actual cause for resignation was that CIA attempted to embarrass Obama by getting the US ambassador killed. But it's actually worse than useless to guess about the exact intrigues: they're all as corrupt as they can get away with.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

    Classified

    "While some insist that it's fine for the FBI to snoop through Petraeus' emails given his position, "

    Actually, isn't it LESS fine to be snooping through private emails of the CIA director? For all they knew, some of the emails could have been ultra-secret CIA matters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Dec 18th, 2012 @ 4:05pm

    I think the only mistake here is the elite were sure that this tactic would never be used on them like it is on everyone else.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 4:37pm

    Re:

    I think the only mistake here...


    The number one lesson: Don't ever try to substitute obscurity for crypto. Never. That is security FAIL.

    The CIA director and his paramour had absolutely lousy techniques. They relied on sharing a password to a Gmail account, and exchanging messages in the “Drafts” folder. Where did they learn that “tradecraft”? From terrorists whose idea of the peak of civilization is back in the 8th century.

    Suppose the NSA director had a paramour. I sure hope we wouldn't be reading about his failure to use strong crypto over a potentially compromised channel.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 5:12pm

    Re:

    You think Petraeus is an 'Elite'?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 5:31pm

    At the very least he could have used Stegtunnel or OpenPuff.

    http://www.synacklabs.net/projects/stegtunnel/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 18th, 2012 @ 5:43pm

    If you havent learned from the Petraeus so called scandel this is what the new world order will be like.
    Everyone knew about Petraeus mistress.
    Now we know what the NSA and FBI can do with our daily computer information.
    Lie for the state of else we will kill you in the arena of public opinion

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2012 @ 3:44am

    I learned that Big Brother watches everyone. Including itself in a mirror.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2012 @ 4:14am

    Re:

    At the very least he could have used Stegtunnel or OpenPuff.


    A single off-the-shelf software package does not make a secure communications system.

    A secure communications system —a system— comprises not just software, but also hardware, and not just software and hardware, but also the operational protocols and techniques used with that software/firmware/hardware stack and channels.

    It begins with an analysis of the threat. And, in a sense, the threat model becomes an integral part of the communications system. At base, changes in the threat necessitate corresponding changes in the communications system.

    A single off-the-shelf software package does not make a secure communications system.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2012 @ 4:56am

    Re: Re:

    Come on Bin Laden knew better than to have an internet connection, he used thumb drives and sneakernet for sensitive communications.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Dirkmaster (profile), Dec 19th, 2012 @ 6:48am

    Re: Mike doesn't even suspect there's more to it.

    "No one in such high position would resign over mere marital infidelity."

    Well, actually, infidelity is a security-clearance killer (back when I had a TS clearance, you could loose it for even bouncing a check), as well as an actionable offence under the UCMJ (http://usmilitary.about.com/od/punitivearticles/a/mcm1342.htm) So yeah, he should have to resign his position is infidelity is revealed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Osama bin fooled, Dec 19th, 2012 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Really? You think we used thumb drives and left them littered around the place for anyone to find?

    This great terrorist mastermind was using thumb drives, keeping the data on them, and keeping them around. Yeah. OK.

    Boy, the CIA/FBI sure has you fooled.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    slick8086, Dec 19th, 2012 @ 8:59am

    Why isn't the head of the CIA's email encrypted? He's the HEAD OF THE CIA for chrisakes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    See he didn't use encryption.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 19th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

    Re:

    I think that is why he resigned, he couldn't hide his incompetence any longer LoL

    This makes me wonder how secure are we really, when the kids I know have better security training than the ex-director of the CIA.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This