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The Boston Globe

Nation

Should our top spies be using Gmail?

WASHINGTON — In light of the Gmail-related scandal involving former CIA chief David Petraeus, one has to wonder if, given the relative ease by which an intelligence agency — or just about anybody — can break into a private e-mail account, government officials entrusted with the nation’s most sensitive information should be allowed to keep personal e-mail accounts while in office.

True, Petraeus’ e-mail was never actually broken into or hacked by the FBI. Agents gained access to his naughty notes by monitoring Paula Broadwell’s e-mail and then asking Broadwell if she was having an affair with Petraeus. She fessed up and gave them access to her computer and with it, even more of his e-mails. Nevertheless, the very revelation that our nation’s top spy used at least one relatively unsecure Gmail account has prompted people to raise the above question.

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