The Department of Homeland Security will immediately stop wiping mobile devices of high-level officials and political appointees without backing them up and will launch a 30-day review of policies and practices for retaining text messages and other electronic messages.
This comes after weeks of heavy criticism over lost text messages at the Secret Service and revelations that the phones of top former DHS officials Ken Cuccinelli and Chad Wolf were wiped after they left office.
The moves were announced in a memo sent to department leaders on Thursday.
The memo stressed that the items to be retained include email, social media messages, instant messages and text messages.
"DHS agencies and offices are directed to preserve either the actual mobile devices (and accompanying access information) or complete fully accessible backups of all device content for all members of the Senior Executive Service or equivalent and political appointees, whenever such an employee departs or would have their device replaced or wiped for any reason," Chief Information Officer Eric Hysen and General Counsel Jonathan Meyer wrote in the memo.
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