White House to ban personal cell phones over security concerns

President Trump's administration is apparently weighing a ban on personal cellphones

President Trump's administration is apparently weighing a ban on personal cellphones

The White House is considering banning employees from using personal mobile phones at work, according to a Bloomberg report Monday.

The ban would also mean no one would be able to send texts from the White House as official White House-issued mobile devices are not capable of sending texts. Bloomberg hears from some officials who say that the ban is driven by cybersecurity concerns.

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.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly is said to be leading the push for the ban. The official is remaining anonymous because the proposal is not yet final.

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.

Some staffers worry a ban could result in a series of disruptive unintended consequences. In addition, government record keeping rules require that records of personal calls received and made over a government issued phone be filed away and kept available for eventual release.

Kelly noticed his phone wasn't working properly and handed it over to White House tech support, only for them to find it had been "externally breached", according to a segment in October where Rachel Maddow detailed the incident. However, national security concerns may win out in the end. The administration is reportedly mulling this step due to other reasons and not necessarily due to leaks to the press. During the president's recent trip to China, staff members were given "burner" or disposable phones to use in place of their regular work or personal handsets in case their phones were hacked. Spicer warned his staff that using encrypted messaging apps like Signal and Confide were violations of the Presidential Records Act.

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