Fed employees use encryption software, messaging apps, report says

Danny Mooers-Staff Writer (Off-Campus: NYC)

President Trump’s election is causing mayhem among federal employees. POLITICO released a report describing how government employees are using encrypted messaging apps and services to discuss the security of their positions and opinions of decisions made by Trump.

Employees are worried Trump will fire anyone who opposes his executive orders, so they are taking extra precautions not to get caught speaking negatively about any of his orders. The recent firing of acting Attorney General Sally Yates has put federal employees on edge, the report states.

According to POLITICO, employees have begun purchasing more secure cell phones and using apps such as Signal or WhatsApp because these companies encrypt all conversations and are more difficult to hack. Employees are also using private emails and speaking face-to-face to avoid any incidents.

Some federal employees, however, aren’t afraid to let their voice be heard. More than 1,000 have signed the “Dissent Channel” memo in an effort to show their frustration with Trump’s recent immigration executive order. They are hoping the memo will cause the executive branch to rethink its decision. Earlier in the week, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer spoke on the “Dissent Channel Memo” and said, “These career bureaucrats have a problem with [President Trump’s executive order]? I think they should either get with the program or they can go.” President Trump is determined to prove there will be a positive influence in this order and isn’t willing to budge, Spicer said.

This determination has caused Labor Department employees to join the efforts and send around a Google Doc asking senators to sign in opposition of the hiring of Andrew Puzder, the Secretary of Labor nominee. The letter already has hundreds of “signatures” from former and current DOL employees, according to POLITICO. Labor employees are against the hiring of Puzder due to some of the advertisements used by his fast food franchises.

The Government Accountability Project, a non-profit organization that works to discover any discrepancies amongst governmental employees, has been flooded with calls in recent days.

“We’ve had a significant number of federal employees who have contacted us in recent weeks,” CEO Louis Clark said in a recent interview with POLITICO. “It has to be the largest influx of people trying to reach us that we’ve seen.”

 

This article was originally published on Feb. 3 by the International Business Times, where Mooers is interning this semester.

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