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Federal Workers Turn to Encryption to Thwart Trump

2/6/2017

Federal workers turn to encryption to thwart Trump

Agency employees are turning to Signal and other incognito forms of communication to express their dissent.

Federal employees worried that President Donald Trump will gut their agencies are creating new email addresses, signing up for encrypted messaging apps and looking for other, protected ways to push back against the new administration’s agenda.

Whether inside the Environmental Protection Agency, within the Foreign Service, on the edges of the Labor Department or beyond, employees are using new technology as well as more old-fashioned approaches — such as private face-to-face meetings — to organize letters, talk strategy, or contact media outlets and other groups to express their dissent.

The goal is to get their message across while not violating any rules covering workplace communications, which can be monitored by the government and could potentially get them fired.

At the EPA, a small group of career employees — numbering less than a dozen so far — are using an encrypted messaging app to discuss what to do if Trump’s political appointees undermine their agency’s mission to protect public health and the environment, flout the law, or delete valuable scientific data that the agency has been collecting for years, sources told POLITICO.

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 cellphone, and another joked about getting a “burner phone.”

“I have no idea where this is going to go. I think we’re all just taking it one day at a time and respond in a way that seems appropriate and right,” said one of the EPA employees involved in the clandestine effort, who, like others quoted in this story, was granted anonymity to talk about the sensitive discussions.

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To Keep Up And To Be Educated On The Issues With The 2016 Presidential Election, Check Out These Sites

  1. Donald Trump's Official Site 2016
  2. Trump vs. Clinton (2016) Presidential Voter Guide - PDF
  3. Lyingcrookedhillary.com (a site launched by Donald Trump to expose Hillary Clinton's lies)

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