Tags: Republicans | Demand | Info | Encryption | Federal Workers

Republicans Demand Info on Federal Workers' Encryption Use

Image: Republicans Demand Info on Federal Workers' Encryption Use

(AP)

By Jeffrey Rodack   |   Wednesday, 15 Feb 2017 08:43 AM

Congressional Republicans are demanding information about federal workers using encrypted apps to secretly communicate, Politico reported.

The move is part of a counterattack on government employees who are suspected of opposing President Trump's political agenda, according to the website.

GOP members on the House Science Committee asked the Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general to review reports that EPA workers are using the Signal app.

Signal allows people to exchange encrypted text messages and phone calls, Politico said.

Politico had reported less than a dozen EPA employees were using Signal to secretly discuss what they would do if the president's appointees "flout the law" or delete valuable scientific information.

But Republicans are looking to shut down embarrassing leaks and they maintain the use of encrypted messaging circumvents federal record-keeping law.

The Cause of Action Institute, a conservative watchdog group, has filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act seeking EPA employees' communications using Signal.

"The bottom line is: An encrypted app is basically a way to avoid transparency," Institute Assistant Vice President Henry Kerner said.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that some Trump staffers are using a secret chat app called Confide, that erases messages as soon as they're read.

The newspaper said the staffers started using the app out of fear of being accused of talking to the media.

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Congressional Republicans are demanding information about federal workers using encrypted apps to secretly communicate, Politico reported.
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