MSNBC: Secret Service Bans Personal Mobile Devices From West Wing

Alex Edelman/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

The Secret Service has directed its agents protecting the White House to ban personal mobile devices in the West Wing, according to a memo obtained by MSNBC.

The memo, which was reportedly sent out by the Secret Service, was revealed by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on her show Thursday evening, but the news outlet was not able to confirm the authenticity of the document with the White House or the Secret Service department, she said.

Secret Service personnel were notified this week that as of Monday there would be a “new restrictive policy” that would prohibit the use of mobile devices, cell phones, tablets and smartwatches within the entire West Wing.

“All personal devices will either be secured and provided lock boxes … or turned off completely prior to entering the West Wing,” the memo said, according to Maddow. There will be a “30-day management period” before policy takes effect and the new rules only apply to personal devices.

Starting Friday, the policy will also apply to tour groups, including pass holders and their guests, according to the memo. 

There have been similar policies in place for secured meetings in the White House, MSNBC reported.

The memo follows news that Chief of Staff and former director of Homeland Security John Kelly’s personal cell phone had been compromised potentially as early as December 2016, Politico reported Thursday.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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