White House staffers will no longer be able to use their personal cellphones at work starting Friday, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday and the White House confirmed on Thursday.
The ban was enacted by chief of staff John Kelly, Bloomberg reported. In a statement shared with TPM, the White House said the ban was put in place for security reasons. One unnamed aide told Bloomberg that there were too many devices connected to the White House WiFi and officials were concerned that personal phones weren’t as secure as government phones.
“The security and integrity of the technology systems at the White House is a top priority for the Trump administration and therefore the use of all personal devices for both guests and staff will no longer be allowed in the West Wing,” the White House said in its statement. “Staff will be able to conduct business on their government-issued devices and continue working hard on behalf of the American people.”
While the President has consistently complained about his White House’s penchant for leaking information to the press, an aide told Bloomberg that the ban was not put in place because of leaks.
In October, MSNBC reported that the Secret Service was planning to ban the use of personal cellphones in the West Wing, citing security concerns. That report came amid news that John Kelly and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway’s personal cell phones had been compromised potentially as early as December 2016.