Mystery surrounds email password on White House letterhead found at bus stop (photo)


According to a new report from The Intercept on Saturday, a piece of White House stationery was found at a bus stop near the White House recently, apparently left there by accident.

The paper contained the email address and password to the encrypted ProtonMail email account of White House staffer Ryan McAvoy. (See picture below.)

A source found it there and provided it to The Intercept, which confirmed its authenticity. (McAvoy did not respond to requests for comment.)

The Intercept posted a photo of the paper, but blacked out the email password. How the paper ended up at the bus stop remains a mystery.

In their report Saturday, The Intercept noted that, after discovery of the White House stationery at the bus stop, Democrats on the Intelligence Committee may now want to add ProtonMail to a list of social media programs included in a recent proposal they have put forth, which would give them the power to subpoena the programs for messages exchanged between key witnesses of their investigations.

Democrats are hoping to win back the House of Representatives in November, which would in turn give them “subpoena power,” and released a memo on Wednesday outlining “steps they may take if and when they gain subpoena power by taking over the House of Representatives in November,” The Intercept reported.

Down on Page 20 of the memo is a pair of ideas that could put Congress on a collision course with privacy advocates in Silicon Valley. “Apple: The Committee should seek records reflecting downloaded encrypted messaging apps for certain key individuals,” the memo suggests. “The Committee should likewise issue a subpoena to WhatsApp for messages exchanged between key witnesses of interest.”

The committee said that it would also seek to find out “all messaging applications that Mr. [Jared] Kushner used during the campaign as well as the presidential transition, including but not limited to SMS, iMessage, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Signal, Slack, Instagram, and Snapchat.”

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