Last week, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) expressed outrage that the Chinese government could “listen to anybody and everybody’s and their communications” during the Olympics. The White House is apparently also fearful of being spied on, as CBS News reports that Bush’s staff “have been told to leave their BlackBerries at home“:
The mobile e-mail blackout is the latest sign of U.S. concerns over Chinese cyber-spying. Sensitive presidential communications are always encrypted, but government cyber-security experts are worried about electronic eavesdropping on the BlackBerries, which are difficult to protect from snooping.
BlackBerries have been banned on other presidential foreign trips but the order underscores specific concerns about Chinese spying during the Olympics.
It’s a welcome development that the White House is acknowledging the intrusiveness of government spying. Unfortunately, neither the White House or Brownback seem to notice the obvious similarities to the administration’s own spy program.