Senators call for info on Trump’s use of unsecure Android phone

14 Feb 2017


After having repeatedly flogged the issue of national security from Democratic party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server when she was secretary of state, in his presidential campaign, President Donald Trump now finds himself in a spot over the use of his unsecured Android phone for official communications.

Engadget reported yesterday that senators Tom Carper and Claire McCaskill had, in a letter to secretary of defense James Mattis asked for certain clarifications.

"First, confirmation on whether Trump received a secured, encrypted smartphone for personal use on or before inauguration, and, if not, what kind of phone the President has been using since taking office," the report noted.

"The senators want to know if the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Secret Service, a National Security Agency, were consulted and coordinated regarding the president's use of a personal cellphone," the report added.

According to the report, Trump was being urged by his aides and the Secret Service to give up his "unsecure smartphone and stick to the secure one that was issued to him".

"The absolute minimum Trump could do to protect our nation is to use a secure device to protect him from foreign spies and other threats," The New York Times quoted senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon on the Intelligence Committee, as saying.

''While it is important for the President to have the ability to communicate electronically, it is equally important that he does so in a manner that is secure and that ensures the preservation of presidential records''.

The senators who are members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs are worried that the phone may be vulnerable to hackers.

According to the senators, the vulnerabilities were among the reasons for national security agencies discouraging the use of personal devices.

A Department of Defense's 2013 Commercial Mobile Device Implementation Plan, states that "DoD policies, operational constructs, and security vulnerabilities currently prevent the adoption of devices that are unapproved and procured outside of official government acquisition.''

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