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Congress wants to know if Trump’s still using that unsecured Android phone

Published Feb 14th, 2017 5:44PM EST
President Trump Android Phone Security
Image: REX/Shutterstock

It’s still unclear what President Donald Trump really knows about the cyber, and whether he’s learning anything new while in office, but he does love to tweet. Worse, he reportedly uses an old Galaxy S3 phone to do it. That’s apparently his own unsecured handset, which he shouldn’t be touching in the first place. To make things worse, reports also note that the president received a safe smartphone to replace his personal device, but he doesn’t seem to be using it.

Following the string of reports that detailed Trump’s phone preferences, a couple of senators wrote a formal letter, inquiring about the kind of smartphone the most powerful man in the country uses.

According to ZDNet, Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tom Carper (D-DE) asked the government’s Defense Information Systems Agency if Trump was given a secure smartphone. They also wanted to know more details about the device, and whether the department locked the handset.

The letter actually starts with a reference to the report that first noted’s Trump inclination to use his old Android when he’s bored at the residence. The senators are worried. If the reports are true about Trump using his unsecured, aging handset, then the handset might be a serious liability.

Just like we told you a few weeks ago, the “security risks associated with the use of an unsecured phone include hackers’ ability to access the device to turn on audio recording and camera features, as well as engaging surveillance tools that allow location and other information tracking features.” That’s why the senators want more explanations.

The “national security risks of compromising a smartphone used by a senior government official, such as the President of the United States, are considerable,” they rightly point out.

The letter was released Monday, but it was dated February 9th. It could not have landed at a worse time for the White House. Trump and his advisors were criticized for having used a public venue to discuss sensitive security matters related to North Korea’s recent missile test, and for having used smartphones to illuminate highly-confidential papers — CNN has that real story.

Chris Smith
Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.