- White House reportedly considering personal cell phone ban over cybersecurity
- Chief of Staff John Kelly had his personal phone hacked earlier this year
- Officials are bristling that the security measure would cut them off from family
- It’s unclear whether ban would apply to iPhone Trump uses for tweets
The White House is considering a ban on employees using personal cell phones, according to a new report.
The proposal to ban personal devices comes amid cybersecurity concerns, reports Bloomberg, with one official saying that personal phones are not as secure as government-issued devices.
It has not yet been decided whether the proposed ban would apply to all staff in the executive office of President Donald Trump – and the potential effect on Trump’s own devices is unclear.
After assuming the presidency, Trump was forced by security officials to hand in his Android phone, and has been issued an iPhone loaded with the Twitter app and nothing else, according to Axios.
A proposed White House ban on personal devices could impact President Donald Trump’s favored communication tool – a special iPhone loaded with the Twitter app and nothing else
Kellyanne Conway (left) checks her phone in the Oval Office in an infamous incident in February. The White House is considering banning staff from bringing personal phones
Trump and his top aides all have government-issued phones that are highly secure, of course, but those devices are severely curtailed in their capabilities.
They can’t send or receive text messages, for example, prompting concerns that White House staff would be cut off from contact with their families while at work if personal devices are banned.
Making matters worse, the White House computer network blocks devices from accessing certain popular websites such as Gmail.
Some officials have also privately expressed concerns that having only a government-issued phone would mean their personal calls would be logged in accordance with public records requirements, according to Bloomberg.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is said to be leading the push for the ban.
Kelly himself was hit by hackers earlier this year, when his personal phone was compromised.
The White House already takes certain precautions with personal devices, requiring that they be left outside of the room when classified material is being discussed.
White House Director of Social Media and Assistant to the President Dan Scavino Jr (right) shows a message on his iPhone to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. Kelly’s personal phone was compromised earlier this year, and he is said to be pushing the ban