The White House plans to ban the use of personal cell phones in the West Wing by both staff and guests, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced on Thursday, citing security concerns.
“The security and integrity of the technology systems at the White House is a top priority for the Trump administration and therefore the use of all personal devices for both guests and staff will no longer be allowed in the West Wing,” Sanders said in a statement. “Staff will be able to conduct business on their government-issued devices and continue working hard on behalf of the American people.”
The ban will go into effect in the coming days, and it is likely to have the secondary effect of cracking down on leaks, a top priority for White House chief of staff John Kelly.
The White House has long toyed with banning personal phones, but some staffers have raised objections, arguing that they need their personal devices to keep in contact with their children and family.
The National Security Agency has also warned senior White House officials in classified briefings that improper use of personal cell phones could make staff vulnerable to hacking or spying from Russia, China and other countries.