Tags: Trump Administration | personal cell | bluetooth | technology | banned | west wing

John Kelly Bans Personal Cellular Devices in West Wing

Image: John Kelly Bans Personal Cellular Devices in West Wing
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Wednesday, 10 January 2018 09:35 PM

White House chief of staff John Kelly has rolled out a new ban on personal cell phones, laptops and smartwatches within the West Wing — a crackdown that’ll take effect Jan. 16, ABC News reported.

A memo from Kelly obtained by the news outlet cites the need to protect classified information, but one unnamed White House official told ABC News the effort is more about preventing embarrassing and politically damaging leaks to the media.

“It’s designed to prevent leaks and ensure the productivity of the people who work here,” the official told ABC News.

The policy is not just limited to personal cell phones — it also includes laptops, smartwatches and "devices with WiFi, Bluetooth, radio, or cellular capabilities" and "any portable device that emits an electric signal and was not issued by the White House Communications Agency," according to the memo, ABC News reported.

"Violations of this policy … are security incidents that may indicate knowing, willful, or negligent conduct in violation of security policy and may therefore result in disciplinary action and, for other Federal employees and visitors, may include being indefinitely prohibited from entering the White House complex," the memo warns, ABC News reported.

“I know that there are other reasons like the leaking, but this does come out of a concern with national security issues,” a former senior White House official told ABC News. “The Chinese and Russians are using personal cell phones and compromising them as listening devices.

The ban doesn’t cover the press briefing room or any press corps work spaces.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders denied last week the ban had anything to do with leaks to the press or revelations in Michael Wolff’s book “Fire & Fury.”

“Absolutely not,” she said, ABC News reported. “That’s a ridiculous characterization. This is about the security and the integrity of the technology systems here at the White House.”

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White House chief of staff John Kelly has rolled out a new ban on personal cell phones, laptops and smartwatches within the West Wing - a crackdown that'll take effect Jan. 16, ABC News reported.
personal cell, bluetooth, technology, banned, west wing
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2018-35-10
Wednesday, 10 January 2018 09:35 PM
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