White House staff banned from using personal mobile phones while at work

Chief of Staff John Kelly imposed the personal mobile phone ban, citing security concerns.
Chief of Staff John Kelly imposed the personal mobile phone ban, citing security concerns.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - The White House is banning its employees from using personal mobile phones while at work, despite concerns among some staffers that they will be cut off from children and other relatives trying to reach them, two White House officials said.

Starting from Friday (Jan 5), Trump administration aides will not be allowed to use their personal mobile phones on the White House campus, one aide said. Chief of Staff John Kelly imposed the ban, citing security concerns.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly complained about press leaks since taking office, but aides said the change is not connected to concerns about unauthorised disclosures to news organisations.

One official said that there are too many devices connected to the White House wireless network, and that personal phones are not as secure as those issued by the federal government. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an internal White House matter.

Aides who opposed the ban said they cannot use their work phones for personal use, and that work phones cannot accommodate texting. They believe the ban will be a hardship because texting is often the easiest way for their families to reach them in the middle of a busy day of meetings.