Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton fully understood how risky it was to use a non-government-issued BlackBerry while visiting overseas, a newly revealed video shows. Yet a media investigation indicates that she sent dozens of emails during multiple trips to China, Vietnam, and Russia.
Since the EmailGate scandal erupted a year ago, security experts have warned that sensitive information on Clinton’s homebrew server was likely hacked by foreign governments.
A newly emerged video from an event in September of 2014—nearly two years after Clinton left the State Department—shows Clinton talking about the inherent security risks of using personal devices overseas.
“Every time I went to countries like China or Russia, I mean we couldn’t take our computers, we couldn’t take our personal devices, we couldn’t take anything off the plane because they’re so good. They would penetrate in a nanosecond,” Clinton said. “So we’d take the batteries out – we’d leave them on the plane.”
As Katie Pavlich at Townhall notes, Clinton’s acknowledgement that foreign governments can hack into devices during state visits “in a nanosecond” gives an incomplete picture of the security risks her unique email arrangement posed.
In the age of the internet and global communication, it isn’t required for Clinton to physically be in China or Russia in order for top secret government secrets to be stolen off of her home brew, unsecure private email server. In fact, a security review found her server was in fact attacked by hacking sources in China, North Korea and Russia. The review also showed Clinton didn’t have the proper security measures in place on her server to prevent top secret information from being compromised.
But it gets worse.
An investigation by The Daily Caller reveals that Clinton may not have even taken the proper protocols she described in 2014 for visits to nations with vigorous spy agencies.
Clinton sent “at least three dozen emails during seven different trips to China, Vietnam and Russia as secretary of state,” the investigation found.
TheDC was able to determine which emails Clinton sent during overseas trips by comparing the emails released by the State Department to her travel schedule. Politico conducted a similar analysis last March, using press photos to determine when and where Clinton was using her BlackBerry overseas.
The State Department has released Clinton’s 52,000-plus pages of emails since then, allowing for a better cross-reference of her email activities with her overseas travels.
Most — if not all — of Clinton’s emails were sent from her personal BlackBerry. Clinton has said that she used a personal email account — and, thus, a personal BlackBerry — so that she would not have to carry around two devices. The State Department did not have the capability during Clinton’s tenure to fix BlackBerries with both types of email accounts.
It is not currently known if Clinton utilized what’s known as a “BlackBerry Enterprise Server,” a program that encrypts emails and other information. Stephen Perciballi, a cybersecurity expert, told the DC that if she didn’t, “it puts her at more risk,”
It is unclear how Clinton’s server was configured. The device, which is now in the FBI’s possession, was kept at Clinton’s home in New York during her tenure at State. It was managed by former State Department IT specialist Bryan Pagliano, who worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
“Was that server just sitting there wide open, sitting on her Comcast cable connection?” Perciballi asked. “We don’t know, and that’s really the problem.”
“Is she building up a fortress of security in her basement? The sheer fact that she did something as irresponsible as this with her work email, I’m guessing no.”
The State Department wouldn’t tell the DC if Clinton used a BlackBerry Enterprise Server while secretary of state. “There are reviews and inquiries looking into this matter generally and we are not going to get ahead of that,” said agency spokesman John Kirby.