A State Department policy that was flagged by Politico on Thursday cautions agency employees not to use personal email. This policy, which has been in place since 2005, would seem to be at odds with Hillary Clinton’s reliance on private email when she was secretary of state.
Clinton exclusively used a personal email address for official business during her time at the State Department. This has been the subject of an ongoing controversey since Monday when the New York Times published a report that suggested her private email could have violated federal regulations. The controversy escalated on Wednesday when a congressional committee issued a subpoena to examine Clinton’s email use.
This issue has been amplified since Clinton is widely considered to be the Democratic frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race. Clinton’s team and former State Department officials have argued she did not break any rules by using non-governmental email.
However, the policy cited by Politico, which was outlined in a manual for State Department employees, called for “normal day-to-day operations” to be “conducted on an authorised [Automated Information System], which has the proper level of security control to provide nonrepudiation, authentication and encryption, to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the resident information.” Along with this, the manual noted the State Department allowed specific approved “telework solutions” for unclassified communications.
It is not clear whether Clinton obtained approval from the department for her email account. A State Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to an email from Business Insider on Thursday asking whether Clinton email usage was ever reviewed by the agency’s counsel.
Other State Department officials seem to have been disciplined for using non-governmental email to conduct official business while Clinton led the agency. In a post published on Thursday, the Weekly Standard pointed out a 2012 report by Josh Rogin that noted a “scathing internal report” precipitated the resignation of former US Ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration. Among other things, that report criticised Gration for using “commercial email for daily communication of official government business.”
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