A reporter for the Indianapolis Star stated that Vice President Mike Pence, while governor of Indiana, used a private email account to conduct official business and that the account was hacked.
Indiana law does not ban the use of a private account for business as long as any official business that is conducted is saved for public record.
The Star was able to obtain copies of about 30 emails through a public records request and, although they did not contain any classified information, state business was discussed on some of the emails.
The Star reported that Pence communicated with his advisers “on topics ranging from security gates at the governor’s residence to the state’s response to terror attacks across the globe.”
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It is also reported that Pence’s email account was hacked last summer and that the alleged hacker tried to extort money from Pence’s contacts by stating that Pence and his wife were “attacked in the Philippines” and lost all of their money and credit cards.
However, Justin Cappos, a New York University computer security professor, said the hack seemed more of a broad attack and not just directed at the Pence account.
Once Pence became aware of the hack, he deleted his account and switched to a new AOL account.
The paper is trying to make a comparison between Pence’s situation and Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Cappos said this about Pence’s use of a private email account:
“A large part of the criticism of (Hillary Clinton’s) personal server by the GOP — that it was unsafe or that it was to circumvent oversight — would be misplaced if Pence was using an AOL account. The Secretary of State would be in possession of secrets that had more of a national impact, but at a lower level, a private email account has the same implications.”
Pence’s office issued this statement to the IndyStar:
“Similar to previous governors, during his time as Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence maintained a state email account and a personal email account. As Governor, Mr. Pence fully complied with Indiana law regarding email use and retention. Government emails involving his state and personal accounts are being archived by the state consistent with Indiana law, and are being managed according to Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act.”
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