Monday, March 06, 2017

Maybe Trump is Telling the Truth

Donald Trump may be wrong about Obama wiretapping his lines in Trump Tower and elsewhere. However he has made it astonishingly easy for others, especially those who might not have America's best interests at heart, to delve into his innermost secrets.

Blame the Samsung Galaxy S3, the smartphone that Trump uses for his late night/pre-dawn tweets.

In the middle of February, Congressional Democrats sent the president a letter urging him to ditch the Samsung in favour of a secure phone but Trump ignored their pleas. It turns out that there exists no power in the US government or anywhere else that can force Trump to give up his trusty S3 Galaxy.

Last week, the New York Times reported that Trump “traded in his Android phone for a secure, encrypted device approved by the Secret Service.” Previously identified as a Samsung Galaxy—likely an S3 which came out in 2012—the Android phone was widely believed to be his primary tweeting device. In defiance of all security standards, the president is reportedly still using it.

“That’s how you do it—you strip out all the functionality so it becomes a brick that does the one thing he needs it to do,” a former senior NSA official told NBC News. “There are things an adversary can to do a cellphone—turn on the mic, for example—that make it really dangerous for a guy in his position to carry an unmodified device.”

And those dangers have only increased. As last year’s Russian hacking debacle illustrated, America’s cyber security is more important than ever. But when your boss is President Donald Trump, it’s hard to imagine anyone telling him no. “No one is taking away his Twitter,” senior Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn told USA Today in November. “He’s his own man.”

To make America's enemies' job even easier, Trump also sacked the guy on staff whose job was to make sure Trump wouldn't get hacked.

It’s unclear if Cory Louie, an Obama appointee with extensive experience working on security teams at places like Google and the Secret Service, got fired or simply quit. ZDNet reports that Louie “was either fired or asked to resign last Thursday evening, and was escorted out from his office in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.” The news was first reported by The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons. Neither the White House nor Louie has commented publicly on what exactly went down.


John's Aghast said...

Okay Mound, you're going to have to spot me a dozen years. I was a third of a century when you landed your first job as a reporter. Now I'm past 75%. How about we just watch each other's back.

The Mound of Sound said...

Sounds fair enough, John.