Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Secret tracking device found in Navy email to Navy Times amid leak investigation raises legal, ethical questions

Posted by M. C. on May 17, 2019

“It is illegal for the government to use [the emails] in the way they did without a warrant,” he said. “What this constitutes is a warrantless surveillance of private citizens, including the media, by the military. We should all be terrified,” Parlatore said.

Government does not discriminate. It will illegally spy on and destroy the Constitutional rights of anyone.

A Navy prosecutor last week sent an email to the editor of Navy Times that was embedded with a secret digital tracking device. The tracking device came at a time when the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is mounting an investigation into media leaks surrounding the high-profile court-martial of a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes.

That email, from Navy prosecutor Cmdr. Christopher Czaplak to Navy Times editor Carl Prine, came after several months of Navy Times reporting that raised serious questions about the Navy lawyers’ handling of the prosecution in the war crimes case.

When asked about the email Czaplak sent to Prine, NCIS spokesman Jeff Houston said Thursday that “during the course of the leak investigation, NCIS used an audit capability that ensures the integrity of protected documents. It is not malware, not a virus, and does not reside on computer systems. There is no risk that systems are corrupted or compromised.”…

And now the case has raised questions about how far the Navy will go in pursuing leaks and whether the government is illegally spying on journalists and defense attorneys in the case.

The Navy email to Navy Times contained hidden computer coding designed to extract the IP address of the Navy Times computer network and to send that information back to a server located in San Diego. Under U.S. criminal law, authorities normally have to obtain a subpoena or court order to acquire IP addresses or other metadata. Not using one could be a violation of existing privacy laws, including the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

Defense attorneys involved in the SEALs’ war crimes cases have said that 13 lawyers and paralegals on their team also received emails with a similar tracking device, according to court documents filed by the defense attorneys.

In response to the receipt of the emails with tracking devices, defense attorneys have filed motions accusing prosecutors of misconduct for sending the emails. They demanded that no more be sent, and are seeking a halt in proceedings until after an investigation can be completed. Defense attorneys also want a public hearing before a military judge to address the question of how and why prosecutors deployed emails with tracking devices…

Be seeing you

Provides Proof The Government Is Spying... |








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