Is Donald Trump really using an insecure Android phone? If that was true, it would probably be the most widely-prized device on the internet for hackers – and top of the target list for intelligence agencies around the world.
Just imagine – a hackable device – with a microphone and camera! – never far from the hands of the leader of the United States of America.
Concerns that the US President might have clung onto his treasured smartphone have been swirling around for a few weeks, but now two Senators have put a list of questions about it to the Department of Defense.
Senators Claire McCaskill and Tom Carper – both Democrats who serve on the Homeland Security Committee – want to know what protective measures have been put in place.
In a letter sent to the US Secretary for the Department of Defense on February 9th, but only made public yesterday, the Senators ask for confirmation as to whether Trump has received a “secured, encrypted smartphone for his personal use”, whether it is being used, and – if not – what kind of personal smartphones the President has used since taking office.
In addition, the Senators want to know what protective measures have been put in place to protect the President’s personal smartphone, and whether the US Secret Service and NSA were consulted regarding the protective measures.
Finally, the Senators wish to know if any device’s security measures are compliant with the Presidential Records Act – ensuring that records of what the President does with the device are properly preserved.
It would certainly be good to get some clarity over the security of the smartphones being used by the US President. It’s too important to ignore or dismiss as a political attack, rather than recognise it for the hacking threat it could potentially represent.