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Lawmakers’ Personal Devices Need Better Security, House Member Says

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif.

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif. // Mark J. Terrill/AP

House members’ use of personal phones and home Wi-Fi networks for official business leaves congressional information far too vulnerable to hackers, one lawmaker says.

That’s why the House Administration Committee should develop a plan to secure these personal devices and networks and give all members a classified briefing on information security threats, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., said in a letter to committee leaders released Monday.

Because of ethics restrictions on campaigning or fundraising with government-issued phones, many lawmakers do business primarily on their personal devices, the letter notes.

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The administration committee should also require cybersecurity training for all new House employees within seven days rather than within 30 days, which is the current requirement, the letter states.

Lieu is a former computer science major and a leader on cybersecurity issues.

Lieu’s letter comes as Democratic senators are raising security concerns about President Donald Trump’s apparent use of a personal Android phone to support his Twitter habit and whether his smartphone habits could be compromising government secrets. 

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