Politics

Presidency May Change Trump's Twitter Habits

| by Jordan Smith

The frequent use of Twitter by President-elect Donald Trump has cybersecurity experts wondering how his habits may change following his inauguration in January.

Trump has made a series of comments via Twitter since his election victory, including denying reports that Russia influenced the outcome of the vote, NPR reported.

The president-elect has also announced through Twitter a series of deals with firms and investors which he alleges will save tens of thousands of jobs.

But experts suspect the security requirements for the smartphone used by the U.S. president will restrict Trump’s usage of the social network.

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Outgoing President Barack Obama described how basic the phone was that he is allowed to use.

“It doesn’t take pictures, you can’t text. The phone doesn’t work. You can’t play your music on it. So, basically, it’s like -- does your 3-year-old have one of those play phones?” he said in summer 2016, NPR reported.

Martin Alderson, the founder of the Codified Security mobile security firm, doubts whether the Twitter app could be used on Trump’s presidential phone.

“I don’t think it’d be possible to do that on a secured phone, at least with the security policy that they had for Obama’s phone,” said Alderson. “I think that the Twitter app would be too hard to lock down.”

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Alderson did propose a possible work-around.

“I think usually what we’d probably see is perhaps an aide doing it for him on his behalf from a more secured laptop [or desktop] computer,” he added.

Trump currently has 17.2 million followers on Twitter. The influence his posts can have was shown Dec. 12, when negative comments about Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet program prompted the company’s shares to drop in value soon after the tweet.

Citing intelligence and defense specialists, Politico reported that concerns are growing that foreign agencies may be analyzing Trump’s Twitter posts to get an idea of his personality and what to expect from a Trump administration.

“We’re beginning to see what excites him, what angers him, what sets him off. We’ve never had this ability to read so much on what a president is thinking,” defense expert P.W. Singer told Politico.

An additional issue is whether Trump actually means what he says on Twitter.

“If Trump’s comments accurately reflect his intent, then we’re giving the opponents a head start in dealing with the incoming presidential administration,” a former U.S. intelligence officer told Politico. “If his comments are meant to conceal other intentions, then we’re doing a pretty good job in misleading our adversaries.”

Sources: NPR, Politico / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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