How Gmail Took Down Philandering CIA Director David Petraeus

Illustration for article titled How Gmail Took Down Philandering CIA Director David Petraeus

If you want to get away with something, don't use Gmail. As David Petraeus and his sexytime lady friend Paula Broadwell learned, thanks to rich data that Google stores from every email, you will be found out.

Here's how it went down in this ironic case: The FBI was investigating Broadwell for some harassing emails she was sending to a Petraeus family friend named Jill Kelley. The emails were send from an account that used a pseudonym, but connecting the data dots—like locations of hotels and Broadwell/Petraeus love nests—caused several dominos to fall. This info eventually revealed to the feds that Petraeus was hilariously banging his biographer, says the WSJ:

They learned that Ms. Broadwell and Mr. Petraeus had set up private Gmail accounts to use for their communications, which included explicit details of a sexual nature, according to U.S. officials. But because Mr. Petraeus used a pseudonym, agents doing the monitoring didn't immediately uncover that he was the one communicating with Ms. Broadwell. By late summer, after the monitoring of Ms. Broadwell's emails uncovered the link to Mr. Petraeus, prosecutors and agents alerted senior officials at FBI and the Justice Department, including Mr. Holder, U.S. officials say. The investigators never monitored Mr. Petraeus's email accounts, the officials say.


You'd think our country's spy-in-chief would be a little savvier than being ratted out by an email service. He's not, which means Google could probably ruin us all for even less. [WSJ via The Atlantic]

Image credit: AP


Share This Story

Get our newsletter


The Diversionist

Since I care so little about this that I can't make it past the first sentence of any article about it without closing the tab (thanks to Gizmodo's tech spin, I got through this whole one!), can someone explain why we care that these two old people were banging each other behind their respective spouses' backs? Do you have to be faithful to your wife to hold public office? Same thing I guess with Clinton, but didn't he get accused of lying under oath about the affair, but why were they putting him on trial for the affair in the first place?