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Petraeus Case Illustrates FBI Authority To Read Email

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the man-vs-state dept.

Privacy 228

An anonymous reader writes "Back in April, we discussed how the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act says email that has resided on a server for more than six months can be considered abandoned. The recent investigation of General Petraeus brings this issue to light again, and perhaps to a broader audience. Under current U.S. law, federal authorities need only a subpoena approved by a federal prosecutor — not a judge — to obtain electronic messages that are six months old or older. Do you know anyone these days who doesn't have IMAP accounts with 6+-month-old mail on them?"

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228 comments

Who I know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970179)

Do you know anyone these days who doesn't have IMAP accounts with 6+-month-old mail on them?

No, but I don't know anyone a federal prosecutor would be interested in, either.

Gmail (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970205)

Nobody keeps lots of mail there for longer than six months.

Joke's on you ... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970227)

I don't have a useless IMAP account - I keep all my valuable messages on Hotmail

Don't keep old email. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970231)

This is why I delete my old emails every 3 months.

Of course, when you're living in "The Cloud©," who's to say that the "Delete" button really deletes your email, and doesn't just shift it off to some secondary storage cache where it sits undisturbed for years until the FBI decides it wants to read it?

Re:Don't keep old email. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970435)

Define "The Cloud". Who's to say your ISP doesn't store a copy of all emails received by you?

Re:Don't keep old email. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970589)

Define "The Cloud". Who's to say your ISP doesn't store a copy of all emails received by you?

Same reason you don't save every piece of electronic crap your computer shits out on a daily basis.

Cost.

No business expends money at that level just for shits and grins. There is either a legal mandate, or there is not.

Re:Don't keep old email. (3, Informative)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year and a half ago | (#41971185)

Once lost account settings in Netscape and re-entered everything, the ISP dumped 4 years of e-mail from POP3 back down. Stuff I didn't want my parents to see, I got in a lot of trouble.

Re:Don't keep old email. (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41971389)

Backups. Some people want them.

Heck, I've still got some ASCII porn backed up on tape somewhere. Now get off my lawn!

Re:Don't keep old email. (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970689)

Depends on who is sending it but, TLS at the transport level takes care of that for most of my email. Good luck handing me an order for all of my emails sitting on my server. Abandoned my ass.

Re:Don't keep old email. (3, Informative)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year and a half ago | (#41971215)

TLS doesn't take care of shit. It gets encrypted, goes to your ISP, gets decrypted, gets sent, gets encrypted, goes to you, gets decrypted. TLS doesn't encrypt messages with your secret key (like PGP) so that intermediate parties can't read it.

Re:Don't keep old email. (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970563)

I keep my old emails, but on my own hardware, not on the server. Were there anything of particular risk, it would be deleted as soon as I didn't need it, but I've not run into that issue, yet.

Re:Don't keep old email. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970619)

The problem with emails, obviously, is that just because YOU deleted them, it doesn't mean anybody else did.

Still and all, having one's long term storage of emails on a server that you control makes the most sense. Don't make it easy on them.

And really, it's just trivial. I've got emails stored since 1997 - including pics - takes up maybe 4 GB. That's 30 minutes of shooting on my DSLRs.

me (1)

lyran74 (685550) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970245)

I keep one month's email on my IMAP server, and pop everything to my main machine.

Re:me (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970299)

I keep my email in my home directory on the file server and accesses it locally and remotely using NFS and IMAP. I wonder what FBI would say about my messages.

Re:me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970385)

Probably nothing as I doubt the FBI is terribly concerned about the average slashdotters e-mail in the first place :-)

Use PGP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970395)

And they will have nothing to say about your emails.

Re:me (0)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970515)

On a server (check), abandoned (over 6 months old, check). Yep, the FBI would say they can break into your house and computer to read your email files. And since they already broke into your house and computer, might as well look around at some other "abandoned" stuff too!

me too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970945)

I let thunderbird copy all mails from the IMAP server on each machine, and let them delete after 2 weeks.

Btw, does anyone know how to make this fully automatic? I am using the filters in thunderbird. But they only work on unread messages, so I have to run them manually to get mails that I have read on a different computer.

show this story to the tea party people ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970267)

really.

Disparage them all you want, but they do have America's heart in mind.

Me! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970271)

I don't have friends, though...

On Dropbox (2)

zerosomething (1353609) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970319)

"Rather than transmitting emails to the other's inbox, they composed at least some messages and left them in a draft folder or in an electronic dropbox, AP said" http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2012/11/13/petraeus-broadwell-email/1702057/ [usatoday.com] Yea some of them may have been in the drafts folder. Sending email to your secret lover is old school and gone to get you caught. OOPS maybe it did.

Re:On Dropbox (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41971265)

The dropbox trick doesn't work well inside a secure environment. In order to access it, you'd have to authenticate yourself as Petraeus (for example). And they (and many security conscious companies) have methods for detecting 'compromised accounts' like two logons from different locations at the same time.

In fact, one report on this topic had the investigation starting based on some unusual attempts made by Broadwell to access Petraeus' account. Not sure if subsequent news has ruled this out. But it does look like the dropbox trick could have been compromised.

Public servants (2, Insightful)

bhlowe (1803290) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970331)

Patraeus is a public servant. The military and public servants agree to adhere to a higher standard of ethics when they take their jobs. Patraeus is said to have sent 20 to 30,000 pages of emails to this lady.. What on earth was he sending her?

While its probably a good idea to erase your personally incriminating emails that you wrote 6 or more months ago (or a week ago!), at some point we want our CIA personnel to not be acting like idiots.

Re:Public servants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970449)

Patraeus is a public servant. The military and public servants agree to adhere to a higher standard of ethics when they take their jobs.

Your assertion would be comforting, but I don't believe there is any "public servant exception". Anyone's mail can be extracted this way.

Patraeus is said to have sent 20 to 30,000 pages of emails to this lady.. What on earth was he sending her?

Naked pictures?

Re:Public servants (1, Flamebait)

Jstlook (1193309) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970455)

Well, she *was* his biographer. I'd guess 20-30,000 emails probably had a lot of "I don't really want to look like a douche", or "I had no idea that was happening, but lets spin it like I meant it to happen".

Re:Public servants (1, Insightful)

schwit1 (797399) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970499)

She was his biographer.

Public servants should be held to a higher standard. Unfortunately it is rare that it actually occurs.

Re:Public servants (4, Informative)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970601)

That wasn't Petraeus, it was John Allen [washingtonpost.com] , who was Petraeus' successor, and until a few hours ago was on track to be the Supreme Commander of NATO.

Holy fuck, what is the matter with these people?

Re:Public servants (4, Insightful)

tgd (2822) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970851)

Patraeus is a public servant. The military and public servants agree to adhere to a higher standard of ethics when they take their jobs.

IMO, that isn't even the real problem. The CIA, in particular, doesn't care two squats about your dirty secrets, as long as you don't care about them either. The problem with a long-term affair, relative to the CIA, is that the people involved (by the very nature of having gone to those extents to keep it a secret) are now potentially able to be compromised by someone via blackmail.

You could have a long track record of photos of you snorting blow off a shaved donkeys ass while giving it a reach around, and the CIA won't care as long as you're not embarrassed about it.

Re:Public servants (5, Funny)

Revotron (1115029) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970955)

You could have a long track record of photos of you snorting blow off a shaved donkeys ass while giving it a reach around, and the CIA won't care as long as you're not embarrassed about it.

Wait, how did you get a hold of my family Christmas photos?

Re:Public servants (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970885)

What do ethics have to do with this case? The guy was the director of the CIA. His marriage vows aren't relevant. I don't care about his marital status or how many women he sleeps with who aren't his wife.

This strikes me as merely juicy, inconsequential gossip, unless there's evidence she got information she wasn't supposed to have because of her relationship.

Re:Public servants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41971411)

You might not, but it does to the CIA, forget the "higher standard".

Having an affair makes you vulnerable to blackmail. Foreign agents love that stuff... juicy pictures of the affair, and all the asset ('cuz that's what they are now) has to do is just turn over a few sensitive-but-not-really-classified documents, and they promise to keep it under wraps... then in for a penny in for a pound, the ante keeps getting raised, and next thing you know they are handing over the "NOC list".

So the reasons for affairs being a big deal in the intelligence world is practical, not political (though admittedly of course, in this case it's also the political fodder of the day since the election is over and the news is bored)

Re:30,000 pages might be about right (2, Interesting)

Ollabelle (980205) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970905)

I'm thinking that the these emails are long strings of replies back and forth, with each email repeating the stuff already sent previously. What with all the blank spaces, headers, wrapping of text, I can see how that the page count gets inflated by quite a bit.

Re:Public servants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41971031)

Patraeus is a public servant. The military and public servants agree to adhere to a higher standard of ethics when they take their jobs. Patraeus is said to have sent 20 to 30,000 pages of emails to this lady.. What on earth was he sending her?

While its probably a good idea to erase your personally incriminating emails that you wrote 6 or more months ago (or a week ago!), at some point we want our CIA personnel to not be acting like idiots.

Patraeus is a professional. He was general and now a civilian. Who the fuck cares wether he had a relationship with Paula Broadwell ? He's a grown up man. Fucking christ, only in America will you crucifix someone because of his dick.
But then, you glorify war and violence and you get nervous when a nipple is shown on tv. And we're supposed to believe the US is a progressive country.

Re:Public servants (5, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41971141)

Patraeus is a public servant. The military and public servants agree to adhere to a higher standard of ethics when they take their jobs.

Making them easier to blackmail. I'd rather have a public servant agree to adhere to the letter of the law (as applicable to the rest of us) and not be put in a position where his/her behavior, acceptable for the general public, would put his/her job in jeopardy.

Patraeus is said to have sent 20 to 30,000 pages of emails to this lady.. What on earth was he sending her?

Probably a lot of copies of his military and CIA correspondence and reports (sanitized of course) for her use in his biography.

What others have said about the head of the CIA not being able to conceal an affair: This guy is an idiot for not knowing that his life is under scrutiny as a condition of having a secret clearance. Heck, here in Boeing territory, we all know that the DIA contacts our neighbors periodically to see if we (those of us with secret clearances) have 'unusual' lifestyle patterns that might signal possible compromise by foreign intelligence.

Funny anecdote: When conducting interviews, they ask my friends and neighbors not to discuss it with me. But their kids come over and say, "Hey mister! The FBI was asking my dad about you. Are you some sort of criminal or something?" [Yeah, I bury pesky kids in my back yard. So stay off my lawn!] So its pretty easy to find out when they do their rounds.

Re:Public servants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41971355)

Blackmail? As in blackmail about not going public with his Benghazi findings?

Re:Public servants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41971287)

Patraeus is a public servant. The military and public servants agree to adhere to a higher standard of ethics when they take their jobs.

Ethics? This is the CIA, lying & skullduggery is what they do.

More specifically for CIA employees, having an affair and not disclosing it puts you at risk for extortion. As long as you inform the CIA, no one gives a shit about your affair.

On the other hand, US military law explicitly prohibits marital affairs - it's a court martial offense. However, Petraeus did resign from the military before taking the job at CIA, so that no longer applies.

Re:Public servants (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41971307)

Bill Clinton was not a public servant?

Me, me ,me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970341)

Me ... I have zero IMAP accounts

so (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970343)

The NSA looks ant and stores most of them with no oversight anyway. You don't protest that.

Re:so (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970457)

More likely, other spy agencies are storing online data on U.S. citizens, while the NSA stores data on citizens of other countries. Then, they trade information as needed.

Though from what I heard, the NSA has probably removed the U.S. citizen filters, so that it's keeping data on practically everybody under the sun.

No Crime here (4, Interesting)

NinjaTekNeeks (817385) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970401)

The thing about it is that Petraeus likely won't be charged or prosecuted for anything. So basically the FBI was "just checking" to make sure no law was broken. If they can do it to the CIA director they likely can do it for anyone they damn near please. Anyone suspected of cheating on their wife is fair game apparently.

Re:No Crime here (1)

what2123 (1116571) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970621)

The problem with cheating on your wife implies that you can be deceitful. In a position where he stands as pretty much the highest man on the pole, you wouldn't want him to deceive you.

Re:No Crime here (3, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970877)

My 1 year old daughter can be deceitful. He did nothing wrong in the course of his duties. The only semi-plausible argument is that the situation could have put in in a position to be blackmailed; which, incidentally was the logic used to deny homosexuals security clearances for decades, effectively blacklisting them from several lucrative industries.

Re:No Crime here (3, Insightful)

H0p313ss (811249) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970923)

The problem with cheating on your wife implies that you can be deceitful. In a position where he stands as pretty much the highest man on the pole, you wouldn't want him to deceive you.

It's more than that, if you're in any job that requires security clearance and you are keeping secrets from your employer then you can probably be blackmailed by foreign interests. One step in getting clearance is to spill EVERYTHING that can be used against you so that it can't be.

Here we're talking about the director of the CIA who is a former senior military officer having an affair. So VERY high level clearance and VERY big secret. Petraeus was an international incident waiting to happen because he's walking with untold numbers of Top Secret info in his head and lying to the CIA.

Re:No Crime here (2)

larry bagina (561269) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970631)

He wasn't just any guy cheating on his wife. He was name-dropped as Mitt Romney's VP (around the time the FBI started investigating him... imagine that). He also refused to be thrown under the Libya Terrorist bus and was slated to testify about that... just days before he resigned. Yet that information wasn't leaked until after the election.

Re:No Crime here (2)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970775)

part of being named a VP candidate is the FBI does a VERY THOROUGH background investigation on you. except for Sarah Palin which explains all the allegations about her

Re:No Crime here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970639)

> Anyone suspected of cheating on their wife is fair game apparently.

Assuming that cheating on their spouse constitutes a threat to national security (vulnerability to blackmail and such). Also marital infidelity is a breach of the UCMJ to which Patraeus swore an oath. He's out of the Army at this point, but it sounds like the affair was going on when he was still a general officer. All of which is not to say that they don't subpoena "normal" folks' accounts. Just that military officers are subject to a higher moral standard and a lot more scrutiny that your average schmoe.

Re:No Crime here (2)

Eevee (535658) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970673)

Actually, it's just the opposite. If you have a security clearance, you have less privacy because you give the government permission to investigate you.

Re:No Crime here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970987)

Well, "less privacy" about *WHAT* and from * WHOM *?

Re:No Crime here (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970731)

Anyone suspected of cheating on their wife is fair game apparently.

No. Just people with security clearances who might be blackmailed as they try to hide their behavior, or people with security clearances who demonstrate that their promises are not kept.Secret affair = not worthy of public trust.

Re:No Crime here (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970769)

The Affair is merely a cover for him and others to step aside without heaping any political pressure on Obama over the pre-election incident in Benghazi.

Benghazi may have been the shipment route for Libyan arms to Syrian rebels via Turkey, or maybe not. But something of great sensitivity was taking place and seemingly the decision was made to sacrifice the Benghazi station than blow the story open.

  Quite a few senior military heads are rolling. General Ham from AFRICOM 'allegedly' disobeyed an order not to engage/attempt rescue, and was almost immediately relieved of command. Rear Adm. Charles Gaouette relieved of duty from USS Stennis. Petraeus gone, the guy below him looks weak too.

The CIA issued a statement that the CIA did not, at any level, order anyone in Benghazi to stand down., but quite clearly, someone did. Petraeus is sticking to his story.

Just one week before a hearing into the incident, he steps down with a cover that saves the face of POTUS.

This is exactly why... (1)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970405)

... I run my own IMAP servers. A third party can't release something that a third party doesn't have. (Nothing, of course, is keeping the upstream mail relay from keeping copies of all the messages they send on to a local IMAP machine, but I would be very surprised if it were currently common practice.)

The other reason I run my own IMAP/postfix server is to get around bullshit port blocking at hotels and the like. They might block port 25, can't very well block http: and https: ports, now can they?

Re:This is exactly why... (1)

statusbar (314703) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970663)

Is your IMAP server hosted on your own machine or co-located, or "in the cloud"?

Re:This is exactly why... (1)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970695)

Is your IMAP server hosted on your own machine or co-located, or "in the cloud"?

On my own machine. Co-lo would be pretty pointless, now wouldn't it?

Re:This is exactly why... (2)

whoever57 (658626) | about a year and a half ago | (#41971169)

I have wondered about this. I would hope that, if you have your own virtual private server, you could argue that it was analagous to renting an office, in which case, 4th amendment protections would apply.

I think that the argument for goverment snooping on email is that the ISP manages the email, thus you have already given access to a 3rd party. If you host it yourself, on a machine that is not managed by an ISP (beyond providing the virtual machine), there is no 3rd part involved in processing your email.

Of course the email may still be available at the other end of the conversation, because it may originate or be received by a traditional ISP that must manage the email.

Re:This is exactly why... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970693)

They might block port 25, can't very well block http: and https: ports, now can they?

Yes... They can just put all http requests through a transparent proxy and drop https altogether. And many do.

Re:This is exactly why... (1)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970805)

They might block port 25, can't very well block http: and https: ports, now can they?

Yes... They can just put all http requests through a transparent proxy and drop https altogether. And many do.

I personally haven't found this to be much of an issue. Port 443 traffic gets passed along pretty much everywhere I've tried it, including places that block 25 and even ssh traffic.

I have a bigger problem with this story . . . (5, Insightful)

mmell (832646) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970431)

Petraeus was the head of our CIA and couldn't keep his own affair secret? If he can't camp a little action off on the side without getting caught, I sure don't want him in charge of our country's Department of Spies.

Re:I have a bigger problem with this story . . . (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970753)

you mean the director of the Central INTELLIGENCE Agency is lacking in same ???

Re:I have a bigger problem with this story . . . (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about a year and a half ago | (#41971055)

I think you should think through the consequences of having a chief spy who is able to conceal his actions from his own team's anti-spies.

Uh, wherein is it legitimate to do this... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970445)

...within the context of the Fourth Amendment?

Yeah, yeah, I know...they're using the Bill of Rights as toilet paper and all- that's because we keep foolishly allowing them that and foolishly thinking that these rights are automatic. They're not automatic.

"The privilege against self-incrimination is neither accorded to the passive resistant, nor to the person who is ignorant of his rights, nor to one indifferent thereto. It is a FIGHTING clause. It's benefits can be retained only by sustained COMBAT. It cannot be claimed by attorney or solicitor. It is valid only when insisted npon by a BELLIGERENT claimant in person." McAlister vs. Henkel, 201 U.S. 90, 26 S.Ct. 385, 50 L. Ed. 671;

Commonwealth vs. Shaw, 4 Cush. 594, 50 Am.Dec. 813; Orum vs. State, 38 Ohio App. 171, 175 N.E. 876. The one who is persuaded by honeyed words or moral suasion to testify or produce documents rather than make a last ditch stand, simply loses the protection. . . . He must refuse to answer or produce, and test the matter in contempt proceedings, or by habeas corpus."

You only have rights if you're beligerent and EXPLICITLY demand them. Quit presuming that the government has any obligations to give you your rights. They do their level best only because of the consequences of them not doing so and somoene calling them out on it. What we're being presented here is explictly UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Yeah, yeah, it costs all sorts of money and effort to stand up for your rights. Freedom's NEVER free.

It's come time to decide, people... Are you slaves? Are you free men? If you're free men, that comes at a price- and you've got to be willing to PAY it.

Re:Uh, wherein is it legitimate to do this... (2)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970963)

You only have rights if you're beligerent and EXPLICITLY demand them. Quit presuming that the government has any obligations to give you your rights. They do their level best only because of the consequences of them not doing so and somoene calling them out on it. What we're being presented here is explictly UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Yeah, yeah, it costs all sorts of money and effort to stand up for your rights. Freedom's NEVER free.

It's come time to decide, people... Are you slaves? Are you free men? If you're free men, that comes at a price- and you've got to be willing to PAY it.

Firstly, "Freedom's Not Free" as a slogan is already taken, and sadly I report it doesn't mean what you and I would like it to.

Secondly, as the great George Carlin said: "This country is finished, it has been for a long time, but everyone has a cell phone that makes pancakes and rubs their balls, so they dont wanna rock the boat."

Re:Uh, wherein is it legitimate to do this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41971135)

If you won't throw in your buck o five, who will?

lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970473)

and yet at&t can spy on all of us and get a free pass with retroactive immunity...

come on guys... grow the fuck up. they only follow the law when its in their favor and already agrees with what they are doing.
Every other time they'll still do it. and just declare what they did to be "secret" or for "national security" and you can't do shit about it.

what about corp svrs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970507)

What about at work? Can the same rule be used to subpoena emails on corp servers?

National security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970509)

So if the FBI is reading the CIA's and DOD's emails does that mean that essentially the Chinese and Indians also have access to such info. Nice JOB NSA, I wonder if they have every strategic location, secure channels, and even personnel listings. I feel so safe in this police state.

POP3 (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970531)

I thought I was just behind the times with my POP3 email. Apparently, it was foresight.

Not that it matters, really. I think we have to assume they can get anything they want without a warrant anyway and whether or not I think I removed it from a provider's server. Just say the magic words: "national security," aka "sudo," aka "Simon says."

Re:POP3 (1)

PvtVoid (1252388) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970929)

I thought I was just behind the times with my POP3 email. Apparently, it was foresight.

Morell, is that you?

Its things like this that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970555)

make me never reveal anything in emails, blog posts, IM's. Also, I never use social networking sites, as they are just an information gathering tool for the government.

automated penis sending mail program (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970561)

all this does is every 10 minutes sends a giant image of a penis to yourself all day long
read that now you can stagger time so they dont know and vary the penis size of course...

Lifestyle Poly (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970565)

Did he have the lifestyle poly that everyone else working for CIA or NSA gets?

For those that say it was a private adult matter, a normal worker would have their clearance in jeopardy. The boss who demands a standard of everyone else must fall on the sword when he fails that standard.

Now for congress demanding why they were not told, the details of an investigation that might effect a clearance are none of your business. If you are not involved in the investigation nor the adjudication, then all you get is pass fail. That is part of the bargain to have people bare all to the feds for a clearance.

As for reading email / cloud storage should need a warrant for anything that is not genuine CI/national security. The bargain there is that anything that is found that is not national security is let alone under the self enforcing mantra of not revealing sources nor methods.

         

Re:Lifestyle Poly (1)

SecurityGuy (217807) | about a year and a half ago | (#41971177)

I think I read somewhere that he started having an affair after taking the CIA post, and therefore quite likely after passing whatever poly required. He might well have had problems when trying to renew.

Market opportunity. (1)

jcr (53032) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970569)

So, who can point me to an e-mail vendor that keeps all messages encrypted?

-jcr

Re:Market opportunity. (1)

Morpf (2683099) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970707)

How about just encrypting your mails in your client? If the mail service de- and encrypts your mail, they have the keys. So there is no improved security.

Re:Market opportunity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970721)

If you encrypt your message before sending it, then all of them
If you send your message as plaintext then none of them.

Re:Market opportunity. (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970787)

Can someone point me to an e-mail vendor who can decrypt my traffic? I mean other then the headers needed for delivery?

I wouldn't deal with an ISP* that insisted on holding my private key. And if I were an ISP, I wouldn't want my customer's keys either. It gives me a level of deniability.

*The issues of corporate or government departmental e-mails being somewhat different. The CIA reserves the right to inspect all traffic coming and going from its premises (both e-mails and briefcases).

oops (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970585)

Dang. Someone must have accidentally changed the time on those servers in the cloud and that's why we thought those messages were 6 months older than they really were.

Any employer can do it (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970605)

Keep in mind that if you read your email using your work computer, then your employer can read it too - don't trust SSL to keep it private, your employer can transparently decrypt the SSL stream and re-encrypt using their own cert which your (well, your employer's) computer will trust.

If you want to keep your private email private, only read it on your own device, don't trust anyone else's device.

IMAP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970723)

Some of us have web-based non-IMAP accounts, you insensitive clod!

j/k about the insensitive clod part. I hope either a court or Congress recognizes that personal "in the cloud" storage is for search-and-seizurepurposes "personal effects."

Doesn't Google keep your emails forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970741)

Doesn't Google keep your emails forever. They use them for advertising crap to you, but I expect they would provide them to the authorities.

we're not all naive (1)

sribe (304414) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970795)

Do you know anyone these days who doesn't have IMAP accounts with 6+-month-old mail on them?"

Hell yes. Me. POP. Nothing stays on my ISP's server for more than a few days.

Anybody here encrypt their email? (1)

roystgnr (4015) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970809)

A decade or so ago, we finally admitted that the encryption cat was out of the bag, US rules loosened, and web browsers stopped coming in "128-bit encryption that you can't export" versus "56-bit encryption that the FBI or the teenager down the street can crack" varieties.

At the time, many people were cynical enough to speculate that this new "we won't worry about bad people using encryption" policy meant that NSA mathematicians had discovered algorithms for cracking our strongest ciphers.

Yet I don't recall anyone being so cynical as to realize the truth: we don't worry about bad people using encryption because (most) ecommerce vendors are the only ones not too lazy to use encryption. You'd think that a four-star general trying to hide an affair would at least try out PGP...

GPG to the rescue (2)

scanman1 (763052) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970863)

I don't understand why GPG is not baked into everyone's mail client by now. All my geek friends have my public key.
You should be using 4096 bit encryption and a public key server.

For someone in his position, he should know better than that.

Even an idiot can install Thunderbird and then put the Enigmail plugin on top of it.

Auto Encrypt Scripts that run after 5.5 months? (1)

deverox (177930) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970867)

Are there any plugins, scripts, extensions etc that one could install that automatically encrypts stuff that is over 5 months old? Occasionally I need stuff from back then when I would need to search for it -- which I guess would be problematic? Is there a solution to protecting this stuff w/o deleting it from the server?

Welcome to ownership (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about a year and a half ago | (#41970891)

And this is why, you should simply own your own IMAP server. Since it costs next to nothing. If you own it, the storage is yours, and you haven't abandoned anything.

Or, you know, you could let someone else hold onto your stuff forever, which for this law, and logic, means you've abandoned it.

Makes sense. Why weren't you paying the few pennies to own your stuff?

Private mail server (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41970999)

Why do you think companies (and households such as my own) operate their own internal mail servers?

US Constitution... (4, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | about a year and a half ago | (#41971019)

They do not have authority that is approved by the guidelines the Founders of this country created.
What it means is they are violating the founders intents and any supposed law in violation are not real laws but fabrications of distortions backed by nothing more than brute force using abstract words to make themselves feel better about it.

There are many violations of the founders intents. The Declaration of Independence even acknowledges the probability of corrupt government and the founders in doing so gave us recognition of our rights and duty to put off bad government and replace it with what the founders intended. They even provided us with real life example.

So No they do not have the Authority to try and take advantage of the short comings of technology that they perceive. Especially when the Email account is still actively being used. Being used does mean clearly that it is not an abandon mail.

Me (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year and a half ago | (#41971107)

Why would I save an email for 6 months, that's insane. If an email was so important that it needed to be kept for that long I would print it off and tack it somewhere around me so I could see it. If the email wasn't important and I was still mean to keep it I would tell the person who sent it to re-send it later closer to the date and if neither case is true then I delete it or handle it right away and make the idiot who sent it deal with me 6 months early. Email is meant for quick communication, if you don't need the quick part then print it out or just phone the person.

IMAP? Eww. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41971239)

> Do you know anyone these days who doesn't have IMAP accounts with 6+-month-old mail on them?

I don't. I've used POP3 for years and years and pull all my mail to local and delete it from servers. Not that privacy was ever really a concern, I've just never thought leaving mail on some other server after I fetch it was a good idea. Now I see why!

In fact, Google Mail irritates me that it doesn't obey POP3 standard to remove mail after it's been fetched. I have to constantly go onto their web site to erase it myself.

pad pad pad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41971347)

I always pad my emails with a couple of hundred K of (already) compressed data - eventually, storage will be the issue.
My recipients know to prune that junk, but a BOT wouldn't. It doesn't really slow anything down, either, with networks
being what they are.

EINSTEIN 3 (1)

jjp9999 (2180664) | about a year and a half ago | (#41971357)

They have systems just for sifting through email and such. I'm pretty sure the main one used by the feds is EINSTEIN 3. It's also available to big businesses, but voluntarily. Email monitoring wasn't in the earlier versions, but EINSTEIN 3 can read the content of email.

That is why.... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#41971399)

When I worked at AT&T it automatically deleted ANY email older than 30 days. Deleted for you. plus they scanned for and deleted any PST files found on any computer.

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