The White House has proceeded with a ban against personal cell phone use, preventing its staffers from using their own handsets while at work on the premises. A rumor of the ban surfaced weeks ago, proving controversial as staffers worried that they’d be cut off from family and friends under such a restriction. Despite those worries, the Trump administration has decided to implement the ban, citing security concerns.
The ban has been confirmed via an official statement by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who said:
The security and integrity of the technology systems at the White House is a top priority for the Trump administration and therefore starting next week the use of all personal devices for both guests and staff will no longer be allowed in the West Wing. Staff will be able to conduct business on their government-issued devices and continue working hard on behalf of the American people.
As the statement notes, the ban extends to guests visiting the West Wing in addition to staffers working there. Chief of Staff John Kelly issued the ban, which is said to be purely out of security concerns and not as a way to squash the press leaks that Trump has frequently complained about.
Staffers aren’t happy about the change, though it isn’t as expansive as original leaks had indicated. At the heart of the matter are concerns that personal phones may have security vulnerabilities that leave data at risk; sources previously talking about the matter had said that officials worried about the number of devices on the White House’s wireless network.