White House staffers leak memo from Gen. Kelly detailing new cell phone policy designed to prevent leaks
Retired General John Kelly has been confirmed as Secretary of Homeland Security, a sprawling department responsible for everything from domestic antiterrorism to border security and disaster prevention. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

On Wednesday, a leaked memo revealed White House chief of staff John Kelly's punishments for staffers who violate a new electronics policy — that's meant to prevent leaks.


Obtained (presumably through a leaker) by ABC News, the policy's official language states Gen. Kelly is enacting the new rule "to protect White House information technology infrastructure from compromise and sensitive or classified information from unauthorized access or dissemination."

Beyond just barring personal cell phone use (which is already protocol in certain parts of the State Department's complex), the policy also prohibits use of "any portable device that emits an electric signal and was not issued by the White House Communications Agency." According to ABC's report, that includes laptops, smart watches and "devices with WiFi, Bluetooth, radio, or cellular capabilities."

As POLITICO's Edward-Isaac Dovere noted, "the policy put in place in part to help stop leaks has a punishment that... leaked."