Last month it came out that David Petraeus, the former Director of the CIA former Afghan war commander, had an affair in late 2011 with Paula Broadwell, the author of his autobiography. Broadwell had been sending anonymous, harassing emails to Jill Kelley a volunteer at an Air Force base in Tampa, Florida. The emails reportedly threatened Kelley to stop flirting with Petraeus. Petraeus reportedly broke off the affair after discovering that Broadwell was sending the harassing emails.
Kelley informed an associate at the FBI Office in Tampa about the threatening emails. The FBI traced the emails to Broadwell who was also exchanging intimate emails with an anonymous email address that was later discovered to belong to Petraeus. After the whole situation was discovered by Petraeus’s supervisor, he informed the White House, which led to Petraeus offering his resignation to President Obama.
The fact that the FBI was able to trace the email without the person knowing that their privacy was being invaded and that the FBI did not need a warrant to trace the email is absolutely outrageous. Online privacy with regards to email needs to change. This Petraeus affair highlights that online privacy needs to change and governments should not be able to access people’s data whenever they want.