Newly released emails show Hillary Clinton, while Secretary of State, tried to request secure Blackberry phones for herself and her team but was denied by the National Security Agency.
The agency told Clinton’s team to “shut up and color” when they inquired about securing her device in a manner similar to the one used by President Obama.
“We began examining options for [Clinton] with respect to secure ‘Blackberry-like’ communications,” State Department official Donald Reid wrote in a 2009 email.
“The current state of the art is not too user friendly, has no infrastructure at State, and is very expensive … each time we asked … the question ‘What was the solution for POTUS?’ we were politely told to shut up and color.”
The NSA said it denied the request due to cost and security concerns. Clinton wanted a BlackBerry because she had become familiar with the phone.
Judicial Watch says the emails show Clinton knew her information wasn’t being handled securely, so the group questioned why the presidential candidate used it to access classified information. That access led to the current email scandal that has embroiled Clinton for months.
And cybersecurity experts told Fox News that Clinton’s request to use a BlackBerry in secure facilities for classified information wouldn’t have been secure at all.
“Anyone who has any appreciation at all of security, you don’t ask a question like that,” cybersecurity analyst Morgan Wright said. “It is contempt for the system, contempt for the rules that are designed to protect the exact kind of information that was exposed through this email set up. “
The standard practice when entering a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) is to leave all electronics behind.
“When you allow devices like this into a SCIF, you can allow the bad guys to listen in,” Wright added.
One memo included in the email release, from Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell to Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills, explicitly warned, “the vulnerabilities and risks associated with the use of Blackberries in Mahogany Row [seventh floor executive offices] considerably outweigh their convenience.”