Does the President Need a Secure Phone?

 

The Associated Press has an article headlined “Trump’s use of private cellphone raises security concerns.” I have three simple questions about this.

  1. Considering that the transcripts of his conversations with world leaders routinely get maliciously and anonymously leaked to the press, does the President really need to use a secure phone?
  2. Is anyone else deeply concerned that the President cannot have a phone conversation with a foreign leader without the transcript being maliciously and anonymously leaked to the press?
  3. Does anyone really think the same media which breathlessly reports every possible piece of maliciously and anonymously leaked information gives one whit about the security of the President’s phone calls?

And a bonus question: How hard can it possibly be to figure out who is leaking transcripts of presidential phone calls? The pool of people with access to those transcripts can’t be that big.

There are 10 comments.

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  1. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Let’s see what was that deal about a private server?  A private server is more secure than a cell phone isn’t it?  Of course he should have a secure private phone.  Pope John Paul couldn’t trust the Vatican staff, he kept his own notes in his own private safe.  This President needs an electronic equivalent.   These people are a virulent metastasizing cancer.

    • #1
  2. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    It’s not just monitoring Trump’s phone conversations.

    If you could hack his phone, you could:

    1. audio and/or video record when not having conversations;
    2. monitor other devices (e.g., nearby phones, etc);
    3. distribute malware to other devices;
    4. track his position;
    5. over-ride battery safety protocols to start a fire;
    6. put out gibberish tweets in his name.
    • #2
  3. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Tech security needs to not be taken lightly. While he should do something about the leakers, I do not think he should have a private phone for sensitive/president related stuff. To be on the safe side, I’d rather he not have an insecure phone at all. Let him keep notes in a private safe where only he has the code. This I find preferable to the tech stuff.

    • #3
  4. Nathanael Ferguson Contributor
    Nathanael Ferguson
    @NathanaelFerguson

    I should have been more clear that the headline and questions 1 and 3 are entirely rhetorical. It is mindblowing that the president can’t have a phone call without it being leaked and it is ridiculous on its face that the same media that gleefully prints every piece of classified information it can get ahold of cares at all about the security of the president’s phone calls.

    • #4
  5. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Nathanael Ferguson (View Comment):
    I should have been more clear that the headline and questions 1 and 3 are entirely rhetorical. It is mindblowing that the president can’t have a phone call without it being leaked and it is ridiculous on its face that the same media that gleefully prints every piece of classified information it can get ahold of cares at all about the security of the president’s phone calls.

    Ha ha! Good point. Thank you for clarifying.

    • #5
  6. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    I would be worried if he is just using some off the shelf phone because such a device is probably really easy for foreign intelligence services to hack and manipulate. Especially if he takes it with him abroad to locations our own services can’t secure. The fear then being not that they will listen in on Trump calling his mistress or golf buddy or whatever. But that they could turn the phones microphone on and record him when he is in meetings receiving intelligence. So in that sense I hope what ever phone he uses has good security on it and I can’t think of anyone better able to provide it than our own intelligence services.  That aside, of course the president should be able to talk to people privately. As long as his private phone doesn’t pose a security risk in the way I outlined above I don’t really care.

    This though was the issue with Hillary’s server. It was a massive security breach and the fact that she handled classified information on it was the height of negligence. Even putting such a device in play opens up a network to attacks. Because someone who hacked her server could get into any device that connects to it. So if Trump is using unsecured phones, which he connects to any secured server could prove to be a backdoor for hackers. I don’t think we can complain about Hillary’s lack of care and not worry now about Trump.

    • #6
  7. EHerring Coolidge
    EHerring
    @EHerring

    In the military, we assumed all unsecure conversations were monitored and I continue that practice today.

    • #7
  8. Trinity Waters Inactive
    Trinity Waters
    @TrinityWaters

    We elected him and consider that he knows how to secure his commo.  All else is secondary, if not tertiary.  Tweet on, Don!

    • #8
  9. Z in MT Member
    Z in MT
    @ZinMT

    I get your point Nathan.

    I doubt Trump uses his unsecured cell phone for sensitive phone calls, or keep it with him in sensitive meetings (or even in the Oval Office).

    His unsecured cell phone that he uses for tweeting is probably confined to his “off-duty” times.

    • #9
  10. Ray Kujawa Coolidge
    Ray Kujawa
    @RayKujawa

    How secure are we talking here? Encrypted secure or Bat Phone secure?

    • #10

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