Donald Trump, who is known to tweet through his Android phone quite often, has given up the device with less than a day before he swears in as the 45th president of the United States, the Associated Press (AP) reported Thursday. The president-elect was urged by security agencies to do so, the report added.
The news agency reported that its reporter contacted the 70-year-old on his phone but the latter did not answer the call. However, an hour later Trump called back on the unknown number, according to the AP. But Trump’s friend told the AP that the real estate tycoon is not using his smartphone anymore.
It remained unclear whether Trump will follow in the footsteps of outgoing President Barack Obama, who exchanged his personal phone for a BlackBerry that was modified for security reasons when he took office. Obama is reportedly the country’s first president to regularly use a mobile phone.
While White House employees can use iPhones, the president has to stick to a secure BlackBerry for security reasons. The National Security Agency had first set up Obama’s BlackBerry when he was the president-elect in 2008. Extra layers of encryption were added to that phone at the cost of most of its functionality. It remained unclear whether Obama was able to send emails from the modified version of BlackBerry.
“For security reasons — this is a great phone, state-of-the-art — but it doesn’t take pictures, you can’t text, the phone doesn’t work, you can’t play your music on it,” Obama told Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” last June.
The president’s phone should not have any internet connection, Recode reported, citing Matthew Green, a cryptographer and professor of computer science at John Hopkins Information Security Institute.
This is because anything connected to the internet is prone to cyber attacks. Furthermore, any commercial-grade phones carried by Trump or his aides are likely to be barred from high-level meetings as there are certain exploits to switch on the device’s microphone, Tom Lowenthal, a digital security technologist at the Committee to Protect Journalists, told Recode.
Source: Yahoo News
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre & Spur Magazine. He is passionate about tech, games and occasionally writes about entertainment, lifestyle and so much more.