Pretrial hearings for the Guantanamo war crimes tribunals have been brought to a halt because sensitive legal documents have gone missing from Pentagon computers, prompting an IT ban for the defense lawyers in question.

Reuters reports that Pentagon defense lawyers found that confidential work documents began vanishing from servers in February. There has also been evidence suggesting that internal emails and Internet searches have been snooped on by third parties. From Reuters:

Navy Commander Walter Ruiz, who represents 9/11 defendant Mustafa al Hawsawi, said "three to four weeks' worth of work is gone, vanished." He said what appeared to be a computer folder of prosecution files had turned up on the defense lawyers' system, though none of them had opened the files.


The incident prompted chief defense counsel for the tribunals, Colonel Karen Mayberry, to order the Pentagon defense lawyers to stop using government computers for sensitive information or drafts of their work. "I'll be filing a handwritten motion very shortly to ask for an abatement of the proceedings," explained defense attorney James Connell to Reuters.

It's currently unclear who or what was behind the breach in digital security. [Reuters]

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