White House conducts sweeps to find staffers' unauthorized cellphones

White House conducts sweeps to find staffers' unauthorized cellphones
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The White House is carrying out sweeps to track down personal devices owned by West Wing staffers in an effort some staffers have taken as a crackdown on leakers, CNN reported Tuesday.

According to the publication, men in suits have been roaming the halls of the West Wing carrying large handheld devices as they scour offices for devices that aren’t issued by the government. If a personal device is detected, one of the men will ask the staffer to put it away.

The White House first began barring employees from using their personal cellphones at work back in January. The stricter cellphone policy has officially been justified under national security grounds.

Under the new rules, West Wing staffers either leave their personal devices in their cars or drop them off in their lockers as they enter the building, sources told CNN.

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The sweeps are conducted to ensure no phones, smartwatches or other personal devices make it past the White House lobby. 

Should staffers violate the policy, they could reportedly be subjected to "disciplinary action," though it remains unclear what that entails.

"Violations of this policy by EOP staff are security incidents that may indicate knowing, willful, or negligent conduct in violation of security policy and may therefore result in disciplinary action and, for other Federal employees and visitors, may include being indefinitely prohibited from entering the White House complex," Kelly wrote in a staff memo outlining the policy, according to ABC News.