By Steve Neavling
Homeland Security officials said they will no longer delete data on the cellphones of senior officials and political appointees before backing it up to external servers.
The directive, announced in a memo obtained by CNN, is temporary and comes in response to Secret Service and former senior DHS officials sanitizing their devices.
Under the directive, emails, social media messengers, instant messages and text messages would be preserved.
“DHS agencies and offices are required to maintain either the actual mobile devices (and accompanying access credentials) or fully accessible, complete backups of all device content for all members of the Senior Executive Service or equivalent and named policies, whenever such employee leaves or would have their device replaced or erased for any reason,” Chief Information Officer Eric Hysen and General Counsel Jonathan Meyer wrote in the memo.
The agencies have been criticized for removing posts around the January 6, 2021, uprising.
A House committee investigating the insurrection hoped the messages would provide more information about former President Trump’s actions on the day of the riot.