Report: Mattis considering personal cellphone ban at Pentagon


Defense Secretary James Mattis is reportedly weighing a ban on allowing civilian employees at the Pentagon to bring their personal cellphones to work.

The deliberations come as the Defense Department reviews its policy on wearable electronics after reports suggested that a fitness-tracking app could put military personnel at risk. 

The issue is still being reviewed and no decision has been made regarding the possible cellphone ban, CNN reported Wednesday.


“We take threats to security seriously and are always looking into any potential additional measures to further enhance the security of our of Department of Defense personnel,” Maj. Audricia Harris, a spokeswoman for the Pentagon, told CNN.

The White House implemented a ban on personal cellphones in the West Wing earlier this month. That ban was put in place to “protect White House information technology infrastructure from compromise and sensitive or classified information from unauthorized access or dissemination,” according to a memo obtained by Politico.

According to CNN, the current review of the Pentagon’s cellphone policy was prompted by a small number of cases in which employees brought their personal phones into classified areas.

At issue with the possible ban, however, is the logistical challenge of installing lockers or other means for employees to deposit their personal cellphones when they arrive at the Pentagon. One defense official told CNN that, because of such hurdles, the ban is unlikely to be implemented.

Most of the Pentagon does not have a cell signal, and employees are already barred from bringing their personal devices into classified areas.

One option for clamping down on cellphone-related security concerns, CNN reported, is to more stringently enforce existing rules. 

Tags cellphone James Mattis Jim Mattis Pentagon The Pentagon

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