White House to ban personal cell phones over security concerns

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U.S. President Donald Trump is interviewed by Reuters in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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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.

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.

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.

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