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 dominoes 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 would think America’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]