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White House bans personal phones in the West Wing, citing security risks. (It only took a year.)

The White House chief information security officer, whose job it is to protect the president and senior staff from cyber threats, was fired in February and has not been replaced.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor on
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(Image: file photo via CBSNews.com)

Just in from the White House: No more personal phones in the West Wing, where the president and most of his closest aides and senior staff work.

The reason? They're a security risk, said a statement sent by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, received by sister-site CBS News.

"The security and integrity of the technology systems at the White House is a top priority for the Trump administration," read the statement. "Starting next week the use of all personal devices for both guests and staff will no longer be allowed in the West Wing. Staff will be able to conduct business on their government-issued devices and continue working hard on behalf of the American people."

It's an odd time to install a policy almost a year after the president took office.

White House chief of staff John Kelly is said to have called for the ban, citing security concerns, but for almost a year, the White House has been without a chief information security officer, whose job it is to protect the president and his close staff from cybersecurity threats. Cory Louie was fired without explanation in February.

A spokesperson for the White House did not comment.

It's likely that the Trump administration is on another crackdown to prevent leaks.

CBS News reports that the move to ban personal devices in the West Wing comes a day after an explosive chapter from Michael Wolff's forthcoming book was released, after he reportedly gained access to staff within the West Wing, later revealing chaotic scenes within the administration.

The move hasn't gone down well with West Wing staff. Bloomberg reports, citing unnamed staff, that aides who opposed the ban said that they can't use their work phones, which don't allow text messages, for personal use.

So, no more texting on the job, then.

Trump, for his part, was still using his unsecured Android phone -- said to be a Galaxy S3 smartphone -- a week after he was inaugurated. He later got an NSA-approved secure phone.

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