Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
politics

White House Bans Staff From Using Personal Mobile Phones at Work

Updated on
  • Trump administration cites security concerns for new policy
  • Staff can conduct business on government-issued devices

The White House is banning its employees from using personal mobile phones while at work in the West Wing, despite concerns among some staffers that they’ll be cut off from children and other relatives trying to reach them.

“The security and integrity of the technology systems at the White House is a top priority for the Trump administration and therefore starting next week the use of all personal devices for both guests and staff will no longer be allowed in the West Wing,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Thursday. “Staff will be able to conduct business on their government-issued devices and continue working hard on behalf of the American people.”

White House chief of staff John Kelly imposed the ban, citing security concerns. President Donald Trump has repeatedly complained about press leaks since taking office, but aides said the change isn’t connected to concerns about unauthorized disclosures to news organizations. 

There are too many devices connected to the White House wireless network, and personal phones aren’t as secure as those issued by the federal government, said an official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an internal White House matter.

Aides who opposed the ban said they cannot use their work phones for personal use, and that work phones can’t accommodate texting. They believe the ban will be a hardship because texting is often the easiest way for their families to reach them in the middle of a busy day of meetings.

— With assistance by Arit John

(Updates with White House statement starting in first paragraph.)
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