The iPhone Trump Tweets From May Not Be Secure (& Is Super Easy To Hack)
Some habits die hard — and President Trump is doing everything to keep his alive. Specifically, his Twitter and phone habits, which make up a large part of the way he communicates with the world. However, this has become problematic, because Trump has a phone just for Twitter and one just for calls — but neither of those two phones is secure, Politico reported.
If you become the president of the U.S., a lot of things change for you — and one of them nowadays is the technology that you use. Politico described how Obama, who was never without his Blackberry in hand, had to transition to a super-secure phone that essentially only allowed him to use email and text, his two favorite methods of communicating. He had to turn the phone in once a month for a security check, to make sure that nothing had been hacked. He complained about it publicly — Politico referenced the moment when he told Jimmy Fallon that it was like "one of those play phones" for "your 3-year-old."
According to Politico, however, Trump finds such constraints to be "too inconvenient." This excuse, according to New York magazine, is likely also the reason why Hillary Clinton used a private email server. However, it's not stopping Trump from going ahead with his workarounds.
According to Politico's reporting, Trump insisted on still being able to make calls and use Twitter. The officials who they spoke to said that he has at least two iPhones on hand, one only set up to make calls, and the other only with Twitter and a select few news apps. Neither of those phones, however, have the security features that presidents have used in the past.
The White House denied reports that Trump's phone choices posed a danger, telling ABC News that Trump's phones are secure enough.
“The White House is confident in the security protocols in place for the President’s use of communications devices,” ABC News reported that a White House official said.
When Trump first took office, MIT Technology Review wrote that Trump had been given a new secure phone rather than the Samsung Galaxy that he used previously. Things move fast in the world of presidential phones, however, so it's likely that Trump's telecommunications situation has changed since January of 2017. For one thing, Politico wrote that the phones used for Twitter should generally be changed out every month — which Trump would not agree to do, because of the inconvenience factor.
Politico wrote that in at least one instance, the president didn't submit his phone for a security check for at least five months. Even with two secure iPhones, hackers are always looking for ways to break into phones — particularly when they belong to the president of the United States. Trump, the Washington Post noted, seemed to recognize this when it came to Clinton's emails, but he evidently holds a double standard for his own usage.
This isn't the first time that an issue like this has come up during the Trump administration. Trump's Twitter was briefly shut down, for example, which raised questions about the appropriateness of using that method of communication. According to Fortune, both Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner used personal email accounts for White House business at some point. Current White House chief of staff John Kelly's phone was hacked in some way during the transition, Politico reported, and they also reported that Kelly knew that and didn't change his phone until after the Politico report came out.
Trump has proven to be remarkably resistant to changing his behavior when it comes to issues like this, though. With the White House denying any problem with the security of his phones, it's unlikely that anything will change.