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Report: Mattis Seeking to Ban Personal Cellphones at the Pentagon

Jim Mattis, U.S. Secretary of Defense, listens during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. President Donald Trump's secretaries of state and defense told Congress that Trump has all the authority he needs to fight terrorism with U.S. forces from Niger to Syria, …
Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images
KATHERINE RODRIGUEZ

Defense Secretary James Mattis is considering a ban on allowing Defense Department employees to bring their personal cellphones to the Pentagon.

The potential ban comes after reports revealed that a fitness-tracking app could put pose a security risk for military personnel. The reports prompted the Defense Department to review its policy on personal electronics.

Defense Department officials told CNN that the policy is still under review and a final decision on the matter is still pending.

“We take threats to security seriously and are always looking into any potential additional measures to further enhance the security of our of Department of Defense personnel,” Maj. Audricia Harris, a spokeswoman for the Pentagon, told CNN.

A defense official said that the intelligence prompting the Pentagon’s review of their policy on personal cellphone usage is the same information that drove the White House to ban its staffers from bringing cellphones into the West Wing.

The review had also been prompted by a few instances where employees brought their personal cellphones into the Pentagon’s classified areas.

Approximately 23,000 employees — both civilian and military — would be affected by this ban.

Defense officials say, however, that it is unlikely to go into effect because of logistical hurdles. The Pentagon would have to create lockers or other receptacles for employees to place their cellphones when they arrive at the building.

The Pentagon already bans the use of cellphones in classified areas, and most of the complex does not have a good enough signal for cell service.

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