At a Tuesday afternoon press conference outside of the United Nations Security Council chamber, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the private email system she used for communications related to her post had not been breached.
“The system we used was set up for President [Bill] Clinton's office,” Clinton said. “It had numerous safeguards, it was on property guarded by the Secret Service, and there were no security breaches.” She went on to say that it was “effective and secure,” and that she did not use it to send classified materials.
Clinton said that she opted to use the private email account and server out of convenience, since it would be easier to carry one mobile device for work and personal emails instead of two. She said that it was allowed by the State Department and, at the time, it did not seem like an issue; however, she admitted – looking back – that it would have been better to use two separate email accounts and carry a second phone.
The former Secretary of State wanted everyone to know that the “vast majority” of work emails she sent out were to government employees at government addresses, meaning they were “captured and preserved” on systems at the State Department.
She added that, after leaving office, the State Department requested copies of work-related emails from her personal account. She said she responded immediately and provided what amounted to about 30,000 emails, or roughly 55,000 pages.
She said she went on to ask the State Department to “make all my work-related emails public for everyone to see,” although it was not made clear at the press conference when those communications will be made available. Citing the State Department, reports indicate that the emails will be made available after a complete review, which could take months.
Clinton said she deleted her personal emails – an additional 30,000 messages on topics that include family vacations, yoga routines, and her daughter's wedding. When asked if she or any of her aides deleted any government-related emails, Clinton said, “We did not.”
News about Clinton using a private email account and server during her tenure as Secretary of State surfaced earlier this month. The Associated Press reported that Clinton used the personal account, hdr22@clintonemail[dot]com, in tandem with the private email server, which was traced back to Clinton's New York residence.
In the days leading up to Clinton's first public comments on Tuesday, experts questioned everything from the legality of the move to the security risks.
Mark Noel told SCMagazine.com on Thursday that the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement has made these types of incidents common, where a professional looks to simplify communications by using a single device or account for emails and other communications. He added, however, that BYOD makes it more challenging to retrieve and reassemble a person's emails.