Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, dubbed the “leader of tech”, has been accused of putting classified government information at risk as he continues to use an unsecured private emailing system while in the top job.
By using a non-governmental account and/ or server, the prime minister could potentially be exposing private information to hackers or foreign surveillance, a clear breach of federal security rules.
In response to the allegations a spokesman for the PM said: “Many MPs and Ministers use private messaging systems — including SMS, WhatsApp, Wickr, etc. and private emails etc — for non-sensitive material for reasons of convenience and superior functionality.
“The majority of Government correspondence is routine and of a non-sensitive nature and is therefore not subject to sensitive security markings.”
During his time as minister for communications Turnbull admitted to using Wickr, a secret messaging app that allows users to send encrypted messages to each other which self-destruct after being read.
At the time he said he used the app because it was a superior communication tool over SMSing, which is not encrypted.
“I use Wickr as an application. I use a number of others. I use WhatsApp … because they’re superior over-the-top messaging platforms,” he said.
“When I say over the top, what I mean is they’re travelling over the internet.”
Many are likening the issue to Hillary Clinton’s email scandal while she was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.
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