Contribute
CONNECT:

research

Clinton Knew Her BlackBerry Posed Security Threat And Used It Anyway

- March 17, 2016

Newly Released State Department Emails Reveal That Clinton Was Rebuffed When Requesting A Secure BlackBerry

Clinton Requested A Secure Smartphone In 2009 As Secretary Of State, But Was Rejected By The National Security Agency (NSA). "Hillary Clinton requested a secure smartphone in 2009 during the early days of tenure as Secretary of State but the National Security Agency (NSA) rejected the request, according to emails released this week." (Justin Worland, "Hillary Clinton's 2009 Request For Secure Smartphone Rejected By NSA," Time, 3/17/16)

  • Clinton Began Using Her Private Email On Her BlackBerry One Month Later To Communicate With Her Top Aides. "The emails, released after a legal battle between conservative group Judicial Watch and the State Department, show that Clinton began using her private email address on her Blackberry a month after to communicate with top aides." (Justin Worland, "Hillary Clinton's 2009 Request For Secure Smartphone Rejected By NSA," Time, 3/17/16)

Clinton And Her Aides Were "Hooked" On BlackBerries And Felt "Hamstrung" By The State Department Restrictions On Their Use. "In another email, Reid described Clinton as being 'hooked' on her BlackBerry following the 2008 presidential campaign. But she felt 'hamstrung' when she had to lock it up before entering secure spaces at the State Department. Clinton and her aides 'are used to having the BB on their hip and staying closely in touch with developments during the day,' he wrote." (Julian Hattem, "NSA Dismissed Clinton Request For 'Secure' BlackBerry," The Hill, 3/16/16)

Donald Reid, A Top State Department Infrastructure Security Official Asked If President Obama Had A Secure BlackBerry, The NSA Politely Told Him "To Shut Up And Color." "'[T]he current state of the art is not too user friendly, has no infrastructure at State, and is very expensive,' Donald Reid, a top security official at the State Department, wrote in a Feb. 13, 2009, email. '[E]ach time we asked the question, 'What was the solution for [the president]?' we were politely told to shut up and color,' he added." (Julian Hattem, "NSA Dismissed Clinton Request For 'Secure' BlackBerry,"The Hill, 3/16/16)

In 2014, Clinton Acknowledged The Cyber Security Threat To Personal Devices, Saying Russia And China Could Hack Them In A "Nanosecond"

At A 2014 Speech, Clinton Acknowledged The Cyber Security Threat Posed By BlackBerry's Used By State Department Officials Because Some Countries "Are So Good" At Hacking. CLINTON: "Probably the most frustrating part of this whole debate are countries acting like we are the only people in the world trying to figure out what is going on. I mean every time I went to countries, like China or Russia, I mean, we couldn't take our computers, we couldn't take our personal devices, we couldn't take anything off the plane because they are so good. They would penetrate them in a minute, less, a nanosecond, so we would take the batteries out, we would leave them on the plane." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At The Nexenta OpenSDx Summit, 9/9/14)

Click To Watch

In Clinton's Memoir Hard Choices, She Also Acknowledged That She Was Warned To Leave "BlackBerry's, Laptops - Anything That Communicated With The Outside World - On The Plane" When Visiting Sensitive Countries Like Russia. "When we traveled to sensitive places like Russia, we often received warnings from Department security officials to leave our BlackBerrys, laptops - anything that communicated with the outside world - on the plane, with their batteries removed to prevent foreign intelligence services from compromising them. Even in friendly settings we conducted business under strict security precautions, taking care where and how we read secret material and used our technology. One means of protecting material was to read it inside an opaque tent in a hotel room. In less well-equipped settings we were told to improvise by reading sensitive material with a blanket over our head. I felt like I was ten years old again, reading covertly by flashlight under the covers after bedtime. On more than one occasion I was cautioned not to speak freely in my own hotel room. And it wasn't just U.S. government agencies and officials who were targets. American companies were also in the crosshairs." (Carlos Lozada, "In Her Memoir, Hillary Clinton Warned Of Hackers Breaking Into 'Personal Email Accounts'," The Washington Post , 3/4/15)

CLINTON'S USE OF HER BLACKBERRY EXPOSED CLASSIFIED INFORMATION AND VIOLATED DEPARTMENT RULES

As Of December 2, 2009, The Foreign Affairs Manual Has Explicitly Stated "Classified Processing And/Or Classified Conversation On A PDA Is Prohibited"

On December 2, 2009, The Foreign Affairs Manual Was Updated To State: "Classified Processing And/Or Classified Conversation On A PDA Is Prohibited." "Classified processing and/or classified conversation on a PDA is prohibited." ("12 FAM 683 Personal Digital Assistants," U.S. Department Of State Foreign Affairs Manual, 12/02/2010; Web Archive, 3/9/12)

In 2013, State Department Official Wendy Sherman Bragged That Secretary Clinton Used Her BlackBerry To Negotiate Middle East Peace Talks, Correspondence Which Has Now Been Classified

In 2013, Then-Under Secretary Of State Wendy Sherman Boasted About Secretary Clinton Negotiating Delicate Mid East Peace Negotiations Over Her BlackBerry While At The UN General Assembly In 2011 As Something "That Would Never Be On An Unclassified System… " THEN-UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE WENDY SHERMAN: "Now we have BlackBerries, and it has changed the way diplomacy is done. Things appear on your Blackberries that would never be on an unclassified system, but you're out traveling, you're trying to negotiate something, you want to communicate with people, it's the fastest way to do it. My favorite story about this is the U.N. General Assembly, two years ago, Secretary Clinton was at the E.U., it was then the 'E.U. 27' meeting, where all of the foreign ministers were right along the long table, she was on one side of the table, Catherine Ashton was on the other side of the table, the representative for the European Union, they were trying to, during that U.N. General Assembly negotiate a Quartet Statement for Middle East peace, and so they sat there, as they were having the meeting, with their BlackBerries, transferring language back and forth between them and between their aides to multitask in quite a new fashion, to have the meeting and at the same time be working on the Quartet Statement." (Wendy Sherman,Remarks At The American Foreign Service Association Conference, 2013)

Click To Watch

Emails Regarding The Quartet Statement Have Now Been Deemed Classified. "The State Department considered the correspondence sensitive enough that the department deemed some of those emails to now be classified, and officials redacted details before the emails were released to the public." (Ed Henry, "Video Suggests Clinton Shared Info That 'Would Never Be On An Unclassified System' Normally" Fox News , 1/26/16)

In 2014, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki Said BlackBerries Are Unclassified Devices, And Discussing Classified Information On Them Is Prohibited

In A 2014 State Department Press Briefing, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki Said Processing Or Discussing Classified Information On A Black Berry Is Prohibited By Department Policy. QUESTION: "On the issue of how you discuss things, do State Department officials routinely use encrypted phones, mobile phones, for their conversations so that comments like that one do not become public?" STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON JEN PSAKI: "Well, Arshad, for obvious reasons, I can't outline for you everything that we do. I can tell you that data encryption is available for all Department of State employee-issued, government- owned BlackBerry devices, regardless of rank. All Department of State government-owned BlackBerry devices have data encryption. However, they don't have voice encryption. And of course, as you know -- I know you didn't ask this, but just to add one more additional point - classified processing and classified conversation on a personal digital assisted device is prohibited in accordance with Department policy, which, of course, is not what this was, but just to add a point." (Press Briefing, State Department, Washington DC, 2/7/14)

  • Psaki: "Well, I Just Said That Classified Processing And Classified Conversation On A Personal Digital Assisted Device Is Prohibited." (Press Briefing, State Department, Washington DC, 2/7/14)

Click To Watch

When Pressed On Whether A State Department Employee Is Prohibited From Discussing Classified Material On A Deceive, Psaki Replied "Exactly." QUESTION: "So -- but here's -- I mean, I don't -- several things I don't understand. When you say personal, do you mean privately owned?" PSAKI: "Any device that is -- that you're having conversations on that is..." QUESTION: "OK. So you're not allowed to discuss classified material on a device. Correct?" PSAKI: "On an unclass -- right. Exactly." (Press Briefing, State Department, Washington DC, 2/7/14)


Previous post

Clinton Virginia Leader, Like Candidate, Under FBI Investigation

Next post

Meet Merrick Garland
Republican National Committee

Connect With Us

Republican National Committee
Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
News & Videos
  • 310 First Street SE, Washington, DC 20003
  • 202-863-8500

By providing your phone number, you are consenting to receive calls and SMS/MMS msgs, including autodialed and automated calls and texts, to that number from the Republican National Committee. Msg&data rates may apply. Terms & conditions/privacy policy apply 80810-info.com.

Paid for by the Republican National Committee. Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate's Committee. www.gop.com

By providing your phone number, you are consenting to receive calls and SMS/MMS msgs, including autodialed and automated calls and texts, to that number from the Republican National Committee. Msg&data rates may apply. Terms & conditions/privacy policy apply 80810-info.com.

Paid for by the Republican National Committee.
Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate's Committee. www.gop.com