Governor Mike Pence Used A Personal Email Account for Indiana State Business

This really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since it seems to be pretty much standard operating procedure for government in the US at all levels…but considering the continual harassment of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by the members of the GOP in Congress over her personal email server…you’d think they’d vet their vice-presidential candidate just a bit…I mean wouldn’t you?

But from a techie’s point of view, to me the biggest surprise is: He was using AOL! That’s even still a thing?

Vice President Mike Pence routinely used a private email account to conduct public business as governor of Indiana, at times discussing sensitive matters and homeland security issues.

Emails released to The Indianapolis Star in response to a public records request show Pence communicated via his personal AOL account with top advisers on topics ranging from security gates at the governor’s residence to the state’s response to terror attacks across the globe. In one email, Pence’s top state homeland security adviser relayed an update from the FBI regarding the arrests of several men on federal terror-related charges.

Pence’s office in Washington said in a written statement Thursday: “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.”

And normally I wouldn’t make a very big deal out of this except for:

Pence fiercely criticized Clinton throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, accusing her of trying to keep her emails out of public reach and exposing classified information to potential hackers.

And then this yeah but:

Indiana law requires all records dealing with state business to be retained and available for public information requests. Emails exchanged on state accounts are captured on state servers, which can be searched in response to such requests. But any emails Pence sent from his AOL account to another private account likely would have been hidden from public record searches unless he took steps to make them available.

Indiana Public Access Counselor Luke Britt, who was appointed by Pence in 2013, said he advises state officials to copy or forward their emails involving state business to their government accounts to ensure the record is preserved on state servers.

But there is no indication that Pence took any such steps to preserve his AOL emails until he was leaving the governor’s office.

So can we stop persecuting Ms. Clinton now? And if this is actually as big an issue as we all feel it is (myself included) can we get actual law outlawing the use of private emails and private servers and define how electronic media is used in the pursuit of the public’s business?


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