Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lessons for Indian bureaucrats from CIA chief Petraeus’ extra-marital saga

Paula Broadwell, David Petraeus
THE recent resignation of David Petraeus, the head of America’s famed Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, over his extra-marital affairs with his biographer and journalist Paula Broadwell, has a few learning lessons for Indian tops spies, investigators, and also for ordinary bureaucrats. The lessons are not meant for helping those who might have such affairs, but for those who callously use emails despite…
they occupy sensitive government posts. An analysis of the entire Petraeus-Paula saga has revealed how they goofed up in beating the latest email technology resulting in FBI tracking their affair.
Many Indian bureaucrats using anonymous emails don’t realize that the email technology is smarter than them. After all, IP addresses and locations get recorded. As Wall Street Journal reported in one of several articles on Petraeus-Paula episode, the FBI first spotted some anonymous, threatening emails sent to one woman located in Florida from an IP address used by Paula Broadwell. The FBI looked for details and stumbled upon another email account where Petraeus and Broadwell left drafts of private messages for each other to read. In other words, they were not exchanging emails but using the draft box to read each others' mails. But Broadwell made the first mistake by using an email ID from the same email provider to threaten the Florida woman whereas the IP address turned out to be the same.
Tech saavy analysts now say the private messages would not have come to light so easily if Broadwell had used a mail account from another email provider. Tech-smart netizens also know how to hide IP address, and use VPN as a trick.
Maybe, Dr Gulshan Rai, director of government-run Computer Emergency Response Team India (CERT-In), must devise a way to sensitive Indian bureaucrats how to use emails, or rather how not to use emails in a careless manner. The idea is not to help bureaucrats engaged in extra-marital affairs but to stop important government data landing up at wrong places. After all, Indian government can’t afford to pass important data, albeit unintentionally, to Chinese hackers!

1 comment:

  1. Indian bureaucrats are most casual while exchanging important matters through mails. Many of them use gmails, yahoo mails for all official purposes!