Trump meets with cybersecurity experts (Photo: CNN)

Lax security in the White House

Trump meets with cybersecurity experts (Photo: CNN)
Trump meets with cybersecurity experts (Photo: CNN)

One of the shortest, most succinct reports I’ve seen recently about happenings in the White House comes from an unexpected source — Ars Technica, a computer tech magazine I learned about some years ago. Its Friday report echoes my own concerns by discussing, among other things, Trump’s continuing Twitter tirades on an unsecured, consumer-grade Android phone. The story, “Trump’s apparent security faux-pas-palooza triggers call for House investigation,” begins:

Representative Ted Lieu, a congressman from Los Angeles County, California, led fourteen other House Democrats on Friday in urging the House Government Oversight Committee to investigate “troubling reports” of President Donald Trump’s apparently poor security practices and the potential danger to national security posed by them—including his continued use of an unsecured Android device to post to Twitter, discussion of sensitive information (including nuclear strategy) in the restaurant at his Mar-A-Lago resort, and leaving classified material unlocked while visitors were in the Oval Office.

I don’t expect much from a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chaired by Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), but at least the Ars story was a clear, concise, “just the facts” summation of the situation. A pleasant change from all the mainstream media’s bloviation.

(Don’t get me wrong. I have great respect for the longtime, well-respected media outlets that are the only thorough, accurate reporting we get these days. I’m thinking particularly of the New York Times. It leans a little left, but it’s run by professionals who know their jobs are now more important than ever. It’s easy, however, to be overwhelmed by the endless flood of information from all mainstream sources which includes not only normal news but endless speculation, panel discussions, hypothesizing, etc. That’s why I enjoyed the story from Ars Technica, particularly with its focus on phone security. Modern technology is their bailiwick.)

Frankly I don’t understand why, on Day One of his administration, the Secret Service didn’t seize Trump’s personal phone and replace it with a secured government phone like Pres. Obama used, hopefully one incapable of running Twitter.

26 thoughts on “Lax security in the White House

  1. johnthecook…Frankly I don’t understand why on Day One of Secretary Of State Hillary Clintons time serving in that position, that her personal email server was not terminated by the Obama Administration and replaced with a Government sanctioned server: but hey,that is just me. Do you think it has anything to do with “The powers of the president…will not be questioned”? NOT!

    1. Hillary is old news. Trump is the current president, and his continually tweeting on an unsecured unmonitored phone is an inexcusable security risk. Not to mention being very unseemly. I’m sure he’s objecting to giving it up, but as far as I’m concerned, where security is the issue, he gets overruled by the Secret Service. That phone should have been taken away from him on Inauguration Day.

  2. PT, I totally agree that harkening back to what the Obama and Clinton team did right (and mostly wrong) is old news, so why beat it to death. (sorry, Johnthecook) Trump’s supporters constantly bring up the faults of the previous administration, as if that diminishes the horror of what is going on with today’s WH.

    1. I only mentioned Obama’s phone because it was the first time I became aware of presidents’ personal cell phones, the security risks they pose, and the steps that were taken to minimize that risk. Worse than Trump’s unsecured phone, of course, is the unmonitored, unvetted person who is using it.

  3. Being unorthodox always is interesting, and sometimes even produces worthwhile results. But it is wrong, wrong, wrong in matters of national security. Trump needs to slow down and get a handle on the reality of where he is.

    1. The big question is whether he’s emotionally capable of doing that. He seems to think he’s doing a great job so far. And any lackey who suggests he isn’t will probably be fired immediately. I’m concerned that the Secret Service hasn’t taken his current phone and given him a secured one — one with no access to social media. An unsecured mind should not have an unsecured phone.

      1. You mean like when the Democrats controlled congress and they passed (what’s known as) ObamaCare so the Republicans would have a chance later… to read it?

        It’s the same on BOTH isles. Trump is a disaster, but some of this blindfolded justice is just blatant hypocrisy.

        Remember when Dennis Rodman defied the government and negotiated with North Korea? Remember when Jessie Jackson did the same thing with Cuba? The same people who applauded those humanitarian efforts are now condemning General Flynn who (at least) had some (just barely) ordained legitimacy. It all depends on which party (who’s ox) you’re trying to defend. And I can’t stand either one of them — EQUALLY!

        1. I know, you don’t like anybody. But I do think when people collude with foreign governments or their agents during an election in order to get their preferred candidate elected, it’s unacceptable (assuming that’s what really happened). Flynn got fired not for what he did but for lying about it, although I think what he did was wrong, if not criminal. He apparently was making promises to countermand Obama’s order while Obama was still the president.

          1. Well, I can agree with that. These days I’m outraged by just about everyone in Washington. Actually, not just Washington. I’m pretty much fed up with everybody.

    1. JohnTheCook…ImALibertarian, It looks like my ox is being gored every day by somebody. It does appear that he suffers greatly from hoof-in-mouth disease. Only time will tell if he can survive.

      1. Obama gave up his personal private phone in exchange for a secured phone. The Secret Service should insist Trump do the same. It’s a ridiculous (and completely avoidable) risk for him to continue using an unsecured phone.

  4. But not Hillary’s server, and not the DNC’s which affected John Podesta, Huma Abadeen and Anthony Weiner and who know who else.

    But… You’d think the current bunch of bozos would learn from history.

    It’s been scary for some time now.

... and that's my two cents