Should President Trump relinquish his Samsung Galaxy S3?

Android / Mobile / Security / Tech
President Trump

President Obama famously gave up his BlackBerry when he took office and everyone expected President Trump to do the same with his Samsung Galaxy S3.

Image Courtesy ABC News

Politics isn’t what we do here at Techaeris, we let other more qualified sites take care of those matters, but we do write about computer security. Just hours after President Trump was sworn in, there was a buzzstorm of articles concerning his Android phone. President Obama famously gave up his BlackBerry when he took office and everyone expected President Trump to do the same with his Samsung Galaxy S3. First reports were that the president did indeed relinquish his Android device to the Secret Service, but now it’s being reported he actually did not.

While the president does have a secure device for conducting presidential matters, it seems he’s elected to keep his personal device to use as a Tweeting machine. We’re not privy to exactly what the president’s official phone is capable or not capable of, but Twitter is probably one app that isn’t on the official phone. Keeping a personal device that isn’t secure is raising all sorts of security concerns about potential problems this could cause in the future. The NY Times bullet list below gives a good idea of why some are concerned about this move.

  • It is unclear if the device and its functions like texting are encrypted to thwart hacking.
  • The device could be more vulnerable to hacking if used on unsecured Wi-Fi and cellular networks, such as when Mr. Trump travels between meetings or anywhere outside the White House.
  • Hackers could access the device to turn on the camera and microphone.
  • Stingray devices, a type of surveillance tool often used by law enforcement, can track a device’s location and other information.

“There are a lot of questions, but it is clear there are often vulnerabilities in our phones and internet systems — and it is critical that people take precautions to ensure their sensitive information is protected from hackers and other malicious actors,” said Neema Singh Guliani, legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union.

We believe this could pose a huge security risk to the White House, the president, and ultimately the United States. In this new age of social media connection, it will be interesting to see how the laws evolve around the president use of social media and how they will manage security and risk.

What do you think of the president keeping his phone? Do you think he should relinquish the device? Do you think it’s a security risk? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

  Source: NY Times
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