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Starbucks WiFi more secure than Pentagon's?

Defense attorneys for the "Gitmo 5" asked the 9/11 trial judge to halt pre-trial hearings until the Pentagon's networks could be made more secure.

By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com
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Starbucks WiFi more secure than Pentagon's?
A sign for Camp Delta where detainees are housed is seen at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba on July 8, 2010. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg | License Photo

A senior Pentagon official told a judge in the 9/11 trial she had her staff use WiFi networks in coffee shops and hotel lobbies, rather than the Pentagon's glitch-prone network at Guantanamo Bay US naval base and offices in Virginia.

Defense lawyers in the trial hearings of five Guantanamo Bay prisoners, charged with perpetrating the hijacking of four planes on September 11, 2001, Thursday asked the judge to halt all pre-trial hearings until the Pentagon's network can be made more secure.

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Since April, chief military defense counsel Air Force Col. Karen Mayberry said she has directed her lawyers to avoid using the Pentagon's network after sensitive documents were lost or altered, prosecutors were given access to defense emails, and outside monitors had been able to track researchers' preparation work.

It is "an extremely difficult work environment,” Col. Mayberry said. “It has become a cumbersome process to complete even the most simple of tasks.”

David Nevin, the lead counsel for the Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who has claimed to have masterminded the 9/11 attacks, described "real-time monitoring" in which government officials questioned his team about visiting terrorism-related sites as part of their research.

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The Pentagon's chief technology officer testified "relatively low cost" solutions could be used to address the defense's concerns.

Army Col. James Pohl recessed the week-long hearing without a decision.

Each of the so-called "Gitmo 5" faces the death penalty if convicted.

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