House panel opens new inquiry into Clinton’s email server

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A second congressional committee has launched an investigation into the security of former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPoll: Clinton takes 16-point lead among millennials GOP senator: Trump endorsement could depend on VP Axelrod: Lynch, Bill Clinton meeting 'foolish' MORE’s private email server.

House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) sent letters this week to four companies that played roles in maintaining and protecting the server.

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“Understanding these companies’ roles in providing software and services to maintain former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server is critical to improving government cybersecurity standards,” Smith said in a statement.  

The investigation will run alongside a similar inquiry led by Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonPollster: Clinton leads in 5 battlegrounds Juan Williams: GOP sounds the sirens over Trump Vulnerable Republican seeks edge on homeland security MORE (R-Wis.).

Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, has been knocked for her use of a private email server during her time as head of the State Department.

She used a private email address hosted on a server registered to her Chappaqua, N.Y., home instead of an official government account. The arrangement alarmed security experts and raised questions about whether sensitive information was exposed to foreign hackers and spies.

“A high profile government official deviating from established information security requirements raises significant concerns,” Smith said.

Smith sent letters on Thursday to Platte River, which housed Clinton’s server after she left the Obama administration in 2013; SECNAP, a security firm that installed a threat monitoring device on Clinton’s server; Fortinet, which provided encryption software for Clinton; and Datto, which backed up the server.

“The sensitive nature of the information stored on Secretary Clinton’s private server created a unique challenge to ensure all of the information was properly safeguarded,” he said.

Johnson’s investigation, which was started last summer, discovered that cyberattacks from China, South Korea and Germany had targeted Clinton’s private email but were rebuffed by a SECNAP’s monitoring device. Security specialists have downplayed the findings, describing the incidents as run-of-the-mill attacks that pester computers worldwide.

Clinton’s campaign has bashed Johnson’s efforts as a politically motivated “sham.”