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Report: Trump still uses his unsecured Android phone to tweet

Matt Hamblen | Jan. 27, 2017
His reported use of an unsecured device is 'very troubling,' analyst says; that would probably get any other government employee fired

The White House could not be reached to comment on President Trump's activity on his Android device or his Twitter account during his first week in office. A spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service referred questions about the matter to the White House.

The Secret Service protects the president and was likely involved in the decision to give Trump a more secure device just before last Friday's inauguration. It was widely assumed at that time that Trump would give up his Android phone, reportedly a Samsung Galaxy S model.

However, The New York Times report of his first five days of living in the White House indicated Trump still used "his old, unsecured Android phone, to the protests of some of his aides." He wrote and sent out a tweet on Tuesday that he would "send in the Feds" to Chicago to help end gun violence and killings there.

That Tuesday tweet and 12 others since then appeared on the @realDonaldTrump Twitter handle that Trump has used for months and that now has 22.2 million followers. It isn't clear whether Trump is writing all the tweets himself or even using his Android device in every case.

Whatever Trump is doing with the old Android phone is certainly intentional, said Avivah Litan, a security analyst at Gartner.

"He wants people to listen in on his communications," she said. "He can't get enough public attention for his impulsive discourse. I'm sure he knows what he is doing and all of this is deliberate."

Litan said she is sure Trump has access to highly secure communications when he knows that he needs to use them.

President Trump's use of his old Android device while in the White House and while serving as president is troubling on several levels, the three analysts said. Just last week, Trump's nominee for Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, suggested during his U.S. Senate confirmation hearing that the Internal Revenue Service needs "first-rate" computer technology to protect taxpayer privacy and the agency's cybersecurity.

"We all should be concerned about cybersecurity," Entner said. "Mnuchin is absolutely right. We need to do much more."

Entner favors using two-factor authentication as standard for every site and organization that deals with personal information. "People should also pressure the sites they use that don't offer two-factor authentication to offer it as soon as possible."


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