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Pallone Raises Questions about Trump Administration’s Cybersecurity Practices

Feb 2, 2017
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) sent a letter to White House Counsel Donald McGahn today raising questions about the Trump Administration’s cybersecurity practices. 

“Numerous reports last week raise questions regarding the Administration’s use of private Republican National Committee email servers, and the Administration’s cybersecurity practices generally,” Pallone wrote in the letter.  “These reports, if true, raise possible cybersecurity and transparency concerns related to the email use of the President and senior Administration officials.”

Based on one report from The New York Times the President continues to personally use an unsecured, consumer grade Android smartphone, despite security officials issuing him a secure device when he took office.  Furthermore, Newsweek reports that senior Trump Administration officials, including Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon, had until last Wednesday active accounts on the Republican National Committee (RNC) email system.  The Newsweek report notes that the George W. Bush Administration was accused of using the same RNC email system to evade transparency rules.

In response to these troubling reports Pallone’s letter requests answers to several important questions including:

  • Have cybersecurity experts assessed the security of the Administration’s communications platforms, including Twitter accounts?
  • Has the White House Counsel assessed the legality of the data retention practices and private email use of Administration officials?
  • Has the Administration assessed whether any classified or otherwise sensitive information is stored on insecure devices or on private email accounts?

A copy of the letter is available here.