Pentagon boss violated rules after using personal email account to conduct government business
The boss of the US armed forces used his personal email account to conduct government business, an investigation has revealed.
The US defence secretary, Ash Carter, used his personal email account in the first couple of months when he was appointed to the position in February this year.
That is according to the New York Times, which obtained 72 work-related emails that Carter had sent or received from his personal email account under the Freedom of Information Act.
The emails covered a variety of work-related topics including speeches, meetings and news media appearances, and are said to be mostly exchanges between Carter and Eric Fanning, who was his chief of staff at the time.
Using a personal email account to conduct government business is of course contrary to defence department rules, and happened for least two months after it was publicly revealed in March that Hillary Clinton had exclusively used a personal email account whilst acting as the US secretary of state.
It is not clear when Carter stopped using the account, but it seems that he stopped after the White House chief of staff learned about Carter’s email practices in May and he directed the White House Counsel’s Office to contact the Defense Department to ask why Carter was relying on the personal account.
“After reviewing his email practices earlier this year, the secretary believes that his previous, occasional use of personal email for work-related business, even for routine administrative issues and backed up to his official account, was a mistake,” a spokesman for the defence secretary was quoted as saying. “As a result, he stopped such use of his personal email and further limited his use of email altogether.”
The use of a personal email account by a senior national security official in the Obama administration will cause red faces at both the Pentagon and the White House.
The Republican party has repeatedly attacked the Obama administration about lax precaution surrounding sensitive government information.
Hilliary Clinton landed herself in hot water this year when it was revealed that the FBI had begun an investigation into her private email setup following questions over how the account was managed.
This followed accusations earlier in the year that the former Secretary of State sent hundreds of emails containing confidential data using her private email account linked to a server at her New York home.
She didnt help matters when it was revealed that all the data had been erased from Hillary Clinton’s private email server before it was handed over to US government authorities.
Are you a security pro? Try our quiz!