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Trump Ignores 'Inconvenient' Security Rules To Keep Tweeting On His iPhone, Says Report (politico.com) 542

According to Politico, "President Donald Trump uses a White House cellphone that isn't equipped with sophisticated security features designed to shield his communications." The decision is "a departure from the practice of his predecessors that potentially exposes him to hacking or surveillance." From the report: The president uses at least two iPhones, according to one of the officials. The phones -- one capable only of making calls, the other equipped only with the Twitter app and preloaded with a handful of news sites -- are issued by White House Information Technology and the White House Communications Agency, an office staffed by military personnel that oversees White House telecommunications. While aides have urged the president to swap out the Twitter phone on a monthly basis, Trump has resisted their entreaties, telling them it was "too inconvenient," the same administration official said. The president has gone as long as five months without having the phone checked by security experts. It is unclear how often Trump's call-capable phones, which are essentially used as burner phones, are swapped out.
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Trump Ignores 'Inconvenient' Security Rules To Keep Tweeting On His iPhone, Says Report

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22, 2018 @03:06AM (#56651562)

    The world isn't closing in, he's just a fat moron and oblivious of his surroundings!

  • by CaptQuark ( 2706165 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2018 @03:08AM (#56651574)
    The White House Information Technology and the White House Communications Agency should swap his twitter phone during the night and reload all his previous tweets so he doesn't see anything different.

    By design, security is ALWAYS inconvenient -- hopefully more inconvenient to the bad guys than to the users.

    --
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      he would know something is up, because the replacement wouldn't be covered with his filth and bullshit.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No, bad security is inconvenient by design. The best security works with the user. You must work for a corporate IT department.

    • "The White House Information Technology and the White House Communications Agency should swap his twitter phone ..."

      No they should not. It seems to have escaped your attention. But Trump is the boss. Yes, he's an incompetent, self indulgent buffoon, and a terrible manager.and those who voted for and support him have done their country no favor. (Not that Ms Clinton was that much better). Nonetheless, he is in charge, not the White House security staff.

      • Ah, so in your company the CEO apparently gets to ignore any rule he wants. See, in reasonable companies, the CEO hires people who are experts in their field, and if they set rules he has to obey them, because THEY KNOW MORE THAN HE DOES. Otherwise why bother to hire them in the first place.

        And the President isnâ(TM)t a King or Emperor - even he has to obey rules that he doesnâ(TM)t like, or approve. He has a specific role to fill and itâ(TM)s not to dictate what happens, but to Lead the country and Execute the laws thereof. Not to tweet every effing thing that comes to his head - thatâ(TM)s actually the job of his Press Secretary.

      • That was G. Gordon Liddy's excuse for all the illegal shit he did for Nixon.

      • Trump is the boss

        That is not how our government is set up.

    • Not by design, actually. More by necessity. The way security works is that when the other guy has more determination than you have vigilance, you lose.

    • by strikethree ( 811449 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2018 @09:59AM (#56652818) Journal

      By design, security is ALWAYS inconvenient -- hopefully more inconvenient to the bad guys than to the users.

      This is the wrong approach to 'Security'. I am reminded of a line by a character in a book by Robert A. Heinlein where a business mogul was talking to his lawyer: "Look, I don't pay you to tell me what I can or can not do. I pay you to advise me on how I can do what I am going to do anyways in the most legal way possible."

      I am, by consensus, considered a security expert. I have worked with the military in active combat zones. My job was to ensure that their communications were as secure as possible. My job was NOT to tell them could not communicate at the time because it was insecure or to take a server of theirs offline because it was not in a secure state.

      Security can be inconveniencing and uncomfortable, especially when trying to change ignorant behaviors; however, there is no need for security if nobody is doing anything. The entire reason security as a concept exists is to assist people in doing what they need to do, regardless of the security implications, while minimizing risk to them while doing it. If security gets in the way of the goal, then security is WRONG. Sometimes, people need to do stuff that security would think is an unacceptable risk. Security advises the executive, it is NOT the executive.

      This is why I have my current job. The entire IT management and security team were so focused on denying everything, in the name of security, that the organization I now work for fired ALL of them. If security is your goal, turn off your computers and kill yourself. There will be no more risks. If your goal is getting stuff done while minimizing risks, call a real security expert and listen to the advice.

  • by gravewax ( 4772409 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2018 @03:23AM (#56651610)
    Kinda ironic given how much stick he gave crooked Hillary for ignoring security on email.
    • by fafalone ( 633739 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2018 @03:35AM (#56651634)
      Yeah, and he had non-stop criticisms of how much golf Obama played, yet he plays twice as often. Railed against Obama for tax-payer funded vacations; he and his family take more of them and they each cost more. Went after Obama for his use of executive orders; is doing the same himself now. Tip of the iceberg.

      He's a shameless hypocrite, you're just now noticing?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        He's a shameless hypocrite, you're just now noticing?

        I think it is more a matter of projection.

        He knows what he would do in their position so he can't imagine them doing anything else.

        A lot of people work like that.
        They know that they would cheat, so they assume everyone else would too.
        Screw everyone else over before they have time to screw you over.

        The only thing he have accused others of doing that he haven't been caught with himself yet is the pizzagate thing.

      • Yeah, and he had non-stop criticisms of how much golf Obama played, yet he plays twice as often. Railed against Obama for tax-payer funded vacations; he and his family take more of them and they each cost more. Went after Obama for his use of executive orders; is doing the same himself now. Tip of the iceberg. He's a shameless hypocrite, you're just now noticing?

        He lives in his own reality, which has worked for him as a developer and reality TV star; expecting him to magically become "the most presidential president ever" is folly. The only place he will become that is in his own mind, with is all, beyond cheering crowds, that matters to him.

    • Did you read the fucking article?

  • Ya, but ... (Score:5, Funny)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2018 @03:24AM (#56651618)

    "President Donald Trump uses a White House cellphone that isn't equipped with sophisticated security features ... The president has gone as long as five months without having the phone checked by security experts.

    ... at least it's not an email server -- 'cause that would be ironic.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      The iPhone cannot act as an email server? Now I am disappointed!

  • How are the resident Trump supporters going to explain this away as somehow not yet another piece of evidence supporting the fact that he's stupid, as anyone who doesn't understand and respect the grave importance of securing the President's cell phone must be, especially after having intelligence experts explain it over and over, but instead indicates he's actually a stable genius, and just playing dumb and/or being a jerk?

    3...2...1...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 )

      How are the resident Trump supporters going to explain this away

      Hey look over there, it's Hillary's email server, and standing next to it a North Korean dictator. Now I'm sure Trump will address your comments after he finishes fixing the SAD state Obama left the country. /Trump supporter.

      I need a shower.

  • Just let him... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XSportSeeker ( 4641865 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2018 @04:46AM (#56651804)

    This shouldn't be a surprise.
    The guy is a pathological narcisist, so of course he'll do as he pleases. The only type of respect he has is self-respect, and fuck the rest.
    He already dismisses everything that was ever done previous to his administration as errors, worst mistakes, wrong, criminal, swamp or whatever.
    And it hasn't been a problem for him every single time he was proven wrong. It's either treated as a joke, or the new norm.
    Nobody knew x could be so complicated. President Trump isn't at fault because he just didn't know better. It's just fake news. It's media persecution. Things we hear every freaking day on the news.
    If it's content he doesn't like, it's fake news. If he does something wrong he was just unaware or it's someone else's fault. Any press that says anything wrong about him is being unfair. Any politician that raises a voice against his command is either a democrat trying to attack him, or a republican traitor. The guy acts exactly like politicians in countries like Venezuela, Phillipines and other proto-dictatorships and populist nations and people are just watching it happen.
    None of this has put him out of his position up to now, leaking smartphone information also won't. At most, some fuzz will be made about it, they'll create some comitee for investigation, and some people will cry foul, but he'll still be there.
    I doubt there's anything there to be leaked or hacked anyways... I mean, anything that foreign countries and whatnot don't already know. People shouldn't expect any sort of internal security from the current administration. You just have to see how many incompetent people are occupying all sorts of positions right now. Why would anyone be under some illusion that US government data isn't already being hacked, stolen, spied upon and even directly willingly sent by people on this administration? I'd believe first that the US government is already, knowingly or not, a puppet of other countries. I'd believe first that every piece of communication is already being monitored, specially around Trump. Look at the people he has surrounded himself with. There's a whole ton of people there now or that has come and gonne that I'd have no problems believing they'd just leak stuff or spy for foreign governments with either profit or because they were being blackmailed.
    Foreign countries probably already have plenty of info on him, it's just more convenient to let the guy wreck havok in US international relations as this weakens US economy and gives more opportunities for foreign countries to strenghten theirs.
    And should Trump do too much against other countries with access to his dirt, the information just comes in handy for blackmailing and whatnot, something I wouldn't doubt already happened anyways.
    His supporters already blindly follow him. I'm willing to be that for the vast majority of them, should news come tomorrow that his phones were hacked and all the info stolen, they'd see no fault in Trump's position. It'd only be something to fuel his and his followers nationalist spew, more reason for isolationism, more fuel for immigrant persecution, more reasons for baseless accusations against foreign companies, and overall more reasons for the FUD that this administration feeds on.
    When people have bought the narrative that every single mistake of the current administration is the fault of someone else, and even some of the most obvious errors and problems there is either fake or intrigue by the opposition, the country already set itself on a downward spiral. It will go on as long as it's to the benefit of those in power.
    I pitty the non-supporters who are currently on this trap without any sight of getting out, but it is what it is.
    And I say this as a non US citizen. I live in a country that has gone through that downward spiral. It has destroyed the entire country's economy, it has put the country as a place no foreign investors wants to deal with, it has provoked a massive runaway of scientists, researchers, technology overall, among other stuff t

  • iphone (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2018 @05:10AM (#56651846) Journal

    Apple can get some marketing mileage out of this.

    "iPhone, so easy to use even Trump has one."
    "The iPhone is so secure the president's doesn't need security checks"
    "iPhone: Not for immigrants"

    Next time I'm in California and someone goes all identity politics on me I'll just respond with, "Oh, you have a Trump phone"

  • by Hallux-F-Sinister ( 5127197 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2018 @05:28AM (#56651878)
    Hahahhahaha... that's like telling a stripper in the middle of her pole dance, after she's removed her last shred of clothing, that she'd better take care, or someone might see her NAKED! Like telling the icecream man that he better not play his chiming music over the bullhorn, or else kids might realize he's there and come out and try to buy icecream from him! Like telling a peacock that he better not fan out his tail feathers, or some peahen might SEE the display and try to mate with him. It would be like telling a pizza joint that if it's careless, and accidentally puts an ad in the paper, it might end up with customers coming there trying to buy pizza...

    Yeah, it's kind of a laughably pointless concern, is what I'm driving at, with this all stuff, and more... it would be like a skywriter being told it's a bad idea to go up during daylight hours, because someone could end up READING OVER HIS SHOULDER! ... etc.
  • nothingburger (Score:4, Informative)

    by Reverend Green ( 4973045 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2018 @05:41AM (#56651898)

    Did anyone actually read the article? The writer complains that Trump does not swap out his Twitter phone as often as an "anonymous source" would prefer.

    The phones are fedgov issued:

    "The president uses at least two iPhones, according to one of the officials. The phones â" one capable only of making calls, the other equipped only with the Twitter app and preloaded with a handful of news sites â" are issued by White House Information Technology and the White House Communications Agency, an office staffed by military personnel that oversees White House telecommunications."

      The reporter then quotes another anon:

    "The White House declined to comment for this story, but a senior West Wing official said the call-capable phones âoeare seamlessly swapped out on a regular basis through routine support operations. Because of the security controls of the Twitter phone and the Twitter account, it does not necessitate regular change-out.â"

    Followed by a bunch of pettifoggery from the President's political rivals.

    I don't think the article quite reaches the level of Fake News. But it's certainly a tempest in a teapot.

    • I don't think the article quite reaches the level of Fake News. But it's certainly a tempest in a teapot.

      I have never seen such a large amount of partisan activity on this site before. Soooooooo many Hillary supporters and sooooooo many people who want to crucify Trump. It is drowning out the regulars who despise both people and parties and do not engage in partisan politics. Just WTF is going on here? Surely the people of Slashdot did not suddenly turn ignorant and partisan and lose all sense of rational thought.

      Yeah, yeah, I get it. Trump sucks. Yeah yeah, I get it, he does not play the corruption and nepoti

  • Surprising? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DaMattster ( 977781 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2018 @07:23AM (#56652114)
    I honestly think no one should be surprised at all. Trump doesn't handle negative feedback very well at all. He is of the type that believes he is right and the world is wrong. This is typical Anti-Social Personality Disorder with Narcissistic Tendencies. Every time someone tries to tell him that what he's doing is wrong or illegal, he tries to undermine and discredit them. Trump has constructed his own reality in which he is a living legend. It's hard to convince someone whom does not have a complete grasp on reality otherwise. In his own mind, Trump even rationalizes his own failures as successes of a sort. Whether you think this is flamebait or not, it's actually psychology.
    • Trump doesn't handle negative feedback very well at all. He is of the type that believes he is right and the world is wrong. This is typical Anti-Social Personality Disorder with Narcissistic Tendencies. Every time someone tries to tell him that what he's doing is wrong or illegal, he tries to undermine and discredit them.

      We had a choice between two presidential candidates, and while Trump does have those tendencies, Hillary was far worse on each of them. That's why Americans made the choice they did.

      US pre

  • For a man concerned about draining the swamp of Washington, using two iPhones is awfully wasteful to the taxpayer. I don't really know anyone that needs two iPhones to conduct daily business.
  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2018 @07:58AM (#56652234)
    What's good enough for the goose is good enough for the gander
  • When one is sending out the sort of unfiltered stuff on Twitter that Trump does, what would be the point of securing a phone that he using expressly for that purpose? He is TRYING to broadcast whatever information he puts in the phone to everyone willing to listen. Aside from avoiding someone hijacking the twitter feed to send stuff and make it look like it is from him, there isn't any security threat worse than the already intended use of the phone.

    The summary clearly states that this phone is only for twi

    • No shit why would you want him using his twitter account on a phone that was secured for sensitive government functions?
  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 22, 2018 @09:04AM (#56652488) Homepage

    You have a president who colluded with the Russian Intelligence to get himself elected, and since has used the office in blatantly illegal ways to enrich himself. He's showed distain for all ethical rules and social mores. He's taken it on himself to dismantle our institutions, and fill the government with unethical stupid people who are blindly loyal to him. As law enforcement investigates his crimes, he's been disrupting the investigation and undermining law enforcement in general, while preparing to fire any law enforcement personnel involved in the investigation. Oh, and he's been talking about installing himself as dictator for life.

    And you're surprised that he's tweeting from an insecure phone? You're worried about that?

    Let's keep our eye on the ball here. If you quibble over trivial things, it reenforces the idea that his opponents simply "don't like him" for personal reasons. It's not personal. He's a criminal. He needs to go to jail.

  • I would argue that 'inconvenient' is a subjective thing. If one is unfortunate to be as stupid as Donald Trump, then *everything* is inconvenient.

  • by multi io ( 640409 ) <olaf.klischat@googlemail.com> on Tuesday May 22, 2018 @03:22PM (#56654974)
    Does anyone remember last year, when Trump accidentally boasted about a secret CIA/Mossad operation that the grownups had told him about to the Russian ambassador in the Oval Office? I'm pretty sure ever since that event, they have dumbed down the daily intelligence briefings to the point that where doesn't matter anymore who listens in on it. And Trump now bases his "policy" decisions on Sean Hannity anyway.

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