White House is said to weigh personal mobile phone ban for staff

Posted November 29, 2017

According to a report published on Monday by Bloomberg, the White House is so anxious about leaks making their way to the media and foreign governments, that White House staffers may be disallowed from using their personal mobile phones to communicate.

The purported proposal isn't final, and neither are important details like when to impose the ban, and if all executive office staff would have to comply. If White House staff make personal phone calls, or calls with members of the media, on their government-issued devices, the calls could be archived and made public along with the rest of the Trump White House's communications.

Employees are not allowed to bring their phones to meetings that involve sensitive or classified information, according to the report. While some lower-level officials support a ban, others worry it could result in a series of disruptive unintended consequences.

The White House did not immediately respond to inquiries. White House computers already ban certain popular websites including Gmail, so staffers wanting to reach friends and family regularly use their personal devices to communicate from work, the report said. Mobile phone security has been a persistent issue for the White House, and at times some top officials have also anxious about staff using their personal devices to communicate with news reporters.

Personal devices could become compromised outside of the White House, however, and then potentially exploited once they return to the premises.

The Trump administration is considering a ban of personal cell phones used by staffers over concerns of cyber security.

The move is reportedly driven not because of President Donald Trump's concerns of administration officials leaking sensitive information to the press, but because of cybersecurity concerns. His personal phone was discovered to be compromised by hackers a few months back.