January 16, 2017

Jamie Barnett interviewed in Washington Examiner on security risks to President-Elect Trump’s Twitter account

2 min

Venable partner Jamie Barnett was interviewed in a January 16, 2017, Washington Examiner article on security risks posed by President-Elect Donald Trump’s Twitter account. If Trump continues to use his current account, as he has indicated, lawmakers and national security professionals believe Trump could endanger his personal safety and the country’s. While Trump’s account is vulnerable to hacking, the bigger concern for some is Trump’s use of a smartphone to personally send out tweets to his followers.

“It's not a good idea for the president to operate,” said Barnett, noting that smartphones can give away a person’s location, “which is information we don't want anyone to know,” particularly when the Secret Service tries to keep a president’s non-public whereabouts quiet. “Malware can be introduced onto a person's phone from afar, which can be used to turn a phone's location services back on,” he said. “Sometimes they can turn on the microphone and hot mike you. Just having the phone in your hand is a concern.” Commenting on possible security measures, he said, “They can introduce additional security measures that are available to you and me but there's nothing special for presidents or government officials.”

Aside from the security of Trump’s personal device, Barnett said hacking and the posting of dangerous information was also a concern. “The other concern is that his Twitter account could be hacked and spoof what he is doing.”