Feds Gone Rogue: Employees Using Encryption Apps to Join Trump #Resistance

By NTK Staff | 02.02.2017 @10:36am
Feds Gone Rogue: Employees Using Encryption Apps to Join Trump #Resistance

Federal employees are using WhatsApp and similar apps to organize anti-Trump efforts.

When acting Attorney General Sally Yates ordered Justice Department lawyers to not defend President Trump’s travel ban executive orders, she was promptly fired by the president. Despite widespread media breathlessness, the move was largely unsurprising and certainly not the constitutional crisis some made it out to be.

In isolation, Yates’ act of defiance could be chalked up to merely an Obama appointee doing what she believed was right, at best, and going rogue, at worst. But Yates’ story isn’t the only one of government employees attempting to defy President Trump and his new administration. CNN has more: 

A memo signed by 900 State Department diplomats that opposes President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the US has been delivered to top officials, State Department officials familiar with the memo told CNN Tuesday.

The “memo of dissent” warns that not only will the new immigration policy not keep America safe, but it will harm efforts to prevent terrorist attacks.

Stranger still, some disgruntled federal employees have taken to using encrypted messaging apps to “push back against the new administration’s agenda.” The push back also includes private face-to-face meetings where dissenters organize letters, talk strategy, and contact media outlets to express their displeasure.

Their goal? Push back on the Trump administration while still collecting a federal paycheck:

Fearing for their jobs, the employees began communicating incognito using the app Signal shortly after Trump’s inauguration. Signal, like WhatsApp and other mobile phone software, encrypts all communications, making it more difficult for hackers to gain access to them.

One EPA employee even got a new, more secure cell phone, and another joked about getting a “burner phone.”

EPA employees may be more on edge than those at other agencies because of a questionnaire sent by the Trump transition team asking for names of employees who worked on climate change issues. The Trump team disavowed that questionnaire and told CNN, “The person who sent it has been properly counseled.”

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