The Donald’s security conduct isn’t up to scratch, say experts
We’ve speculated about the quality of Trump’s cybersecurity before, and we’re not alone. Complaints and concerns have snowballed since the septuagenarian took office, but last week saw a spate of incidents that many are deeming the most ludicrous yet. One security lapse saw the president take a phone call concerning a North Korean missile test (child’s play, really) in full view of paying dinner guests at his private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
Flagrant disregard for security practices didn’t stop there, though. A guest at the private Floridian club later took to Facebook to post a picture, accompanied by first name identification, of a US official responsible for holding 2017’s answer to Pandora’s box, otherwise known as the nuclear launch codes. The Trump administration was keen to stress that the photo was later deleted, because everyone knows that things are transient and rarely resurrected on the internet…
Oh, and there’s more. Trump’s team were later that evening reported to have examined government documents using smartphone torches; pardonable if you happen to have dropped your credit card down the back of the sofa, less so if you’re a state official whose phone is susceptible to hacking and might thus be transmitting footage to any number of tech-savvy outsiders.
Lapses in diligence when it comes to national security have not been confined to Mar-a-Lago, however. Trump’s infamous Twitter output reportedly still stems from an unsecured Android phone – which some have speculated is an ancient-in-tech-terms Samsung Galaxy S3. Just last week, the president beamed for press photos, exhibiting a wanton disregard for the “lockbag” (a secure contraption protecting government documents) he had left on his desk with the key in.
As if the immediate threat of these security lapses isn’t enough (and believe me – it is), Trump’s lax approach to security will be under the watchful eye of foreign officials, keen to decipher how the political novice will operate in the long-term. Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service officer who now runs his own security consultancy firm warned of the tactical significance of security lapses that wouldn’t otherwise be deemed seismic: “As much scrutiny as you’re giving those videos, foreign intelligence is doing the exact same thing just to gain a little bit of understanding of this administration.”
Meanwhile, the Democrats didn’t pass up an opportunity for some PR retribution, given Trump’s damning critique of Hillary Clinton for using a private email server. Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, senior member of the Intelligence Committee had to say: “This is mind-bogglingly irresponsible. Trump threatens national security by letting anyone who pays to get into his club photograph sensitive deliberations.”
Trump’s hubris, it seems, is getting the better of him. But what else can we expect from a man who thinks something as sensitive as national security can be ensured by something as rudimentary as a wall, or as arbitrary as a travel ban. The onslaught of Trump’s ever-eclipsing ego continues…
Image: Gage Skidmore used under Creative Commons