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The White House is banning personal cell phone use among staff and guests

By Polycount ยท 12 replies
Jan 4, 2018
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  1. The White House has decided to place a ban on the use of personal cell phones for staff and guests in the West Wing according to a recent Bloomberg report.

    Although President Trump has voiced his frustration with information being leaked to the press during his time in office, the White House claims cybersecurity concerns are at the heart of this ban, not unauthorized information leaks.

    Some employees have raised concerns regarding the restrictions, noting that texting throughout the day is the easiest way for them to keep in touch with their families. Due to the lack of texting functionality on government-issued devices, White House staffers worry they might find themselves cut off from their families entirely throughout the work day. However, the White House feels the ends justify the means in this case.

    "The security and integrity of the technology systems at the White House is a top priority for the Trump administration," said White House press secretary Sara Sanders, "and therefore starting next week the use of all personal devices for both guests and staff will no longer be allowed in the West Wing."

    One anonymous source told Bloomberg that "there are too many devices connected to the White House wireless network" and that personal cell phones lack the same security mechanisms that government-issued devices contain.

    This isn't the first we've heard of this ban. A similar report surfaced back in November 2017 which suggested that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was "leading the push" for tighter restrictions on personal cell phone use in the White House after hackers managed to compromise his personal cell phone earlier in the year.

    Permalink to story.

  2. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 2,825   +2,672

    Long overdue. The White House might want to consider implementing a program to supply key staff members with secure devices like the Pentagon does.
  3. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,219   +2,485

    What a bunch of crap!
    Well, what you do then is have a secure network that only those who are required to have access to it get the password for access to it and you give those same people who need access to the secure network, secure government issued phones instead of this draconian measure. It is the fault of whoever is in charge of IT at the WH for allowing insecure phones on what should be a secure network in the first place.

    To me, this just indicates there are quite a few technical and security illiterate people working in government.
  4. dogofwars

    dogofwars TS Addict Posts: 203   +77

    [STRIKE]technical and security[/STRIKE]
    wiyosaya likes this.
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,179   +4,127

    Maybe they should just shut up and do their jobs. When did it become "mandatory" for an employer to allow texting and phoning family and friends all day when you're supposed to be working.

    Just shut up, and do your jobs. I would think TS members would have enough sense to know this BS is coming out of your tax dollars. And tax dollars for a president most of you didn't want in office in the first place.

    The president is using "security" as a pretext, and they're using "we can't waste time and money anymore as an objection? Spare me!
    senketsu likes this.
  6. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,219   +2,485

    Yeah, that's why COS John Kelly got hacked. He spends his time sexting his wife all day long!
  7. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,584   +5,140

    What categories are there other than staff and guest, that are allowed to continue using their personal phone? I'm serious because the way this is captioned someone is exempt.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 15,179   +4,127

    Female Russian lawyers? :confused:
  9. J spot

    J spot TS Maniac Posts: 229   +148

    As soon as I read that texting throughout the day to their family was the major concern of the staffers, it made me realize how times change. Just a few years ago and before, you go to work, and work. People didn't need to stay up to date with every mundane issue of their family's life. If there was a rare emergency, then they would call. Plus also take into account that the excuse of texting to their family is just a way of making it sound more legitimate. The bet the actual texting was a lot more frivolous.

    I don't know, it just sounded annoying.
    lostinlodos, senketsu and Tanstar like this.
  10. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 4,219   +2,485

    The thing is, we really do not know. The article does not say anything about what really brought it on. And in being honest about it, we cannot make assumptions, either, that people were doing so. As I see it, whether you are frivolously communicating with others is a function of the person and not of being able to send text messages.

    For instance, back when SMS was basically non-existant on phones, I used to work at a company where I had a semi-private cube with another employee in the other half of the cube. This guy was on the phone literally all day, every work day, sweet-talking someone as if he was a 13-year old going through puberty again. To me, it was so disruptive that I asked to be moved. I even had my supervisor come in one day and he sat there while this guy just went on with his sweet-talking for at least 15-minutes. When my manager left, the guy was STILL sweet-talking on the phone. That type of person in today's world would be sexting all day long, IMO. To the best of my knowledge, there was no one else among the some 100 or so employees in the same area that did anything like this.

    As I see it, this is supposed to be an approach that will stem leaks whether the WH will admit this or not. While they can control what happens in the WH, they cannot stop people from leaking after they get off work.

    If it is really about security, it is the cheaper way to go rather than what I suggested above in implementing a secure network that is separate from an open network - which - as I see it, is how they should do this because done properly, it is the most secure approach.

    This is the WH after all, and it would seem to follow, with anyone that has even a nano-particle of common sense, that security of WH networks is of prime concern, but that employees do, occasionally, have a need to have emergency communications. But then when you are WH COS using a PERSONAL phone on what might have been a secure network in the WH, perhaps you should reconsider your qualifications and whether you really should be in such a position.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  11. commanderasus

    commanderasus TS Addict Posts: 225   +98

    Does this mean that The Grump won't be on twitter?
    wiyosaya likes this.
  12. It's common practice to issue company or department phones. Allowing personal devices only begs for problems. This should have been done long ago.
    lostinlodos and senketsu like this.
  13. lostinlodos

    lostinlodos TS Booster Posts: 142   +26

    Cut off from their families all day? Like the majority of Americans who can not, do not, and would not use their phone for non work activities during the work day. Wahh, spoiled brats.

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