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Fallout From the Petraeus Sex Scandal: How Secret Are Your Emails?

Fallout From the Petraeus Sex Scandal: How Secret Are Your Emails?
By Bernice Napach | Daily Ticker

The sex scandal that toppled CIA Director David Petraeus and stalled confirmation of General John Allen as the top U.S. military commander in Europe may have implications for millions of ordinary Americans.

That’s because the scandal was uncovered by a government search of personal emails that apparently even the head of the CIA believed to be private.

Here’s what happened: Jill Kelley, a friend of former CIA Director Petraeus, complained to a friend in the FBI about anonymous, threatening emails. The FBI opened a cyberstalking investigation that eventually traced the emails to Petraeus’ biographer Paula Broadwell. In the process, the FBI discovered an extramarital affair between Petraeus and Broadwell, which has apparently ended, and classified military documents on Broadwell’s computer. Broadwell was apparently upset by Kelley’s supposed flirtatious behavior toward Petraeus.

The investigation also uncovered emails between Jill Kelley and General John Allen, which Pentagon officials reportedly viewed as “overly flirtatious” and continue to probe. Altogether the investigation reportedly involved between 20,000 and 30,000 Internet documents.

“Increasingly Google is the source of information for governments worldwide,” says The Daily Ticker’s Henry Blodget. “The first six months of this year, (there were) 21,000 government requests for information, including 8,000 for private citizen email accounts.”

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