Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Emails show NSA rejected Hillary Clinton's request for secure smartphone

March 16, 2016

Newly released emails show a 2009 request to issue a secure government smartphone to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was denied by the National Security Agency.

The messages made public Wednesday were obtained by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal advocacy group that has filed numerous lawsuits seeking the release of federal documents related to Clinton's tenure as the nation's top diplomat.


Clinton's desire for a secure "BlackBerry-like" device, like the one provided to President Barack Obama, is recounted in a series of February 2009 exchanges between high-level officials at the State Department and NSA.


"We began examining options for (Secretary Clinton) with respect to secure 'BlackBerry-like' communications," wrote Donald R. Reid, the department's assistant director for security infrastructure. "The current state of the art is not too user friendly, has no infrastructure at State, and is very expensive."

Reid wrote that each time they asked the NSA what solution they had worked up to provide a mobile device to Obama, "we were politely told to shut up and color."

Resolving the issue was given such priority as to result in a face-to-face meeting between Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills, seven senior State Department staffers with five NSA security experts. According to a summary of the meeting, the request was driven by Clinton's reliance on her BlackBerry for email and keeping track of her calendar.


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