Encrypted apps spark new questions for Trump-era workers

Source: Hill, The
Coverage Type: reporting
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States

The reported use of encrypted messaging apps by government workers is raising questions about whether the services evade scrutiny from their superiors and the public — or are even legal. Trump administration staffers are reportedly communicating via an encrypted messaging app called Confide, the main feature of which is self-destructing messages. Top GOP operatives and aides in the administration have been using the app to communicate out of fear that they might be hacked and have their correspondence made public.

Amid the fallout of national security adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation, White House staffers are using Confide out of fear that President Trump is planning to crack down on leaks to the media. Government accountability watchdog groups are raising concerns about the use of Confide in the White House, saying it violates the Presidential Records Act. The 39-year-old law requires the president, vice president and their immediate staff members to preserve all correspondence so that official records can be archived. “The reason we have to have an archived record is so there's accountability for the actions and decisions that get made and historically we can review the activities of an administration,” said Sean Moulton, who oversees the open government program at the Project on Government Oversight.



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