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Hillary Signed ’11 Cable Warning State Dept. Employees Not to Use Personal E-mail Accounts

Though she was personally using private email accounts and servers, Hillary Clinton signed a cable while she was Secretary of State warning State Department employees not to use their personal email accounts for national security reasons.
On Thursday, Fox News obtained an unclassified 2011 cable, with Clinton’s electronic signature, that was “sent to Diplomatic and Consular Staff in June 2011.”
The cable notes that the State Department is “expected to provide, and employees are expected to use, approved secure methods to transmit SBU [sensitive but unclassified] information when available and practical.”
It also warns employees not to “auto-forward” emails to “an address outside the Department’s network” and “avoid conducting official Department from your personal e-mail accounts” because those accounts are not as secure as State Department accounts.
The cable was reportedly “addressed to all diplomatic and consular posts with the subject line ‘Securing Personal E-mail Accounts.'”
Politico reported that the State Department has actually “had a policy in place since 2005 to warn officials against routine use of personal e-mail accounts for government work, a regulation in force during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state that appears to be at odds with her reliance on a private email for agency business.”
Those policies were “clear-cut” directives that Clinton’s State Department relied on when it may have ousted U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration in 2012 for using personal e-mail accounts. The State Department’s Inspector General’s scathing report said of Gration:
Very soon after the Ambassador’s arrival in May 2011, he broadcast his lack of confidence in the information management staff. Because the information management office could not change the Department’s policy for handling Sensitive But Unclassified material, he assumed charge of the mission’s information management operations. He ordered a commercial Internet connection installed in his embassy office bathroom so he could work there on a laptop not connected to the Department email system. He drafted and distributed a mission policy authorizing himself and other mission personnel to use commercial email for daily communication of official government business. During the inspection, the Ambassador continued to use commercial email for official government business. The Department email system provides automatic security, record-keeping, and backup functions as required. The Ambassador’s requirements for use of commercial email in the office and his flouting of direct instructions to adhere to Department policy have placed the information management staff in a conundrum: balancing the desire to be responsive to their mission leader and the need to adhere to Department regulations and government information security standards.

According to another report, “State Department technology experts expressed security concerns that then–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was using a private email service rather than the government’s fortified and monitored system, but those fears fell on deaf ears.” A former employee told Al Jazeera America on Thursday that “it was well known that Clinton’s emails were at greater risk of being hacked, intercepted or monitored, but the warnings were ignored.”

“We tried,” the employee reportedly said. “We told people in her office that it wasn’t a good idea. They were so uninterested that I doubt the secretary was ever informed.”

 

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