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Hillary Clinton's private email server "not encrypted" for three months after she entered office

By Nathaniel Mott , written on March 12, 2015

From The News Desk

Hillary Clinton's decision not to use her government email address while conducting official State Department business is the gift that keeps on giving.

A report claims that the domain name used to enable her personal email -- clintonemail.com -- didn't receive a digital certificate until three months after its creation. This means that traffic to the domain was unencrypted for a full quarter.

Here's how Venafi, the information security company that published this report, explains why that was a problem:

Clintonemail.com operated for 3 months without a digital certificate. This means that during the first 3 months of Secretary Clinton’s term in office, web browser, smartphone, and tablet communications would not have been encrypted. Attackers could have eavesdropped on communications. As well, the server would not have been uniquely identified as being clintonemail.com and therefore could have been spoofed – allowing attackers to more easily trick an unsuspecting user of the site to hand over their username and password or other sensitive information.
Some have questioned the security of Clinton's email system. Others have alleged that she used a private email address to evade Freedom of Information Act lawsuits. Republicans have, predictably, connected this scandal to the 2012 Benghazi attack.

Clinton addressed those concerns Tuesday night. "I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two," she said. "Looking back, it would have been better if I'd simply used a second account and carried a second phone."

No matter what the problem associated with Clinton's email system was -- the security risks it might have posed, the potential undermining of FOIA laws, etc. -- it's clear that politicians, pundits, and the public are concerned about its use.

It's actually kind of funny. Clinton's being criticized for running her own email server while another politician, Sen. Lindsey Graham, has been rightly mocked for not sending a single email even though he sits on a tech-focused subcommittee.