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Shot of Hillary Reading About Pence Emails Spreads Far and Wide

For most of 2016, people in the United States spent a lot of time thinking about Hillary Clinton’s emails. This week, an image of the former Democratic presidential candidate was released that got a lot of attention. It showed her looking at a headline about another politician’s personal email. New information came out this week showing that Vice President Mile Pence used a personal email account to conduct official business when he was governor. An investigation into the matter also revealed that his AOL account was hacked.

pence hillary clinton AOL email hacking

Caitlin Quigley/Handout via Reuters

Hillary Photo Snapped by Fellow Flyer Goes Viral

On Friday, Hillary Clinton took a commercial flight to New York from Boston. Another person on board the plane took the picture. It shows her reading a USA Today article about the Vice President’s use of AOL. The headline was, “Pence Used Personal Email in Office.” After the image was put on Twitter, it was shared thousands of times on both Facebook and Twitter. The story even received global attention.

Hillary’s own use of a personal email server when she was the Secretary of State was a big problem for her campaign. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) even looked into the issue. It also inspired attendees at rallies for now President Donald Trump to chant “lock her up!”

Pence’s Email Usage Was Different from and Similar to Hillary’s

Vice President Pence

Alex Wong/Getty Images

There are several key differences between Hillary’s use of a personal email server and Pence’s use of an AOL account. In the first place, Hillary placed her server in her New York home. By contrast, Pence used a commercial email account. In both instances, the government does not have immediate access to the messages, as required by law. The difference is that the AOL staff can access his messages, whereas Hillary controlled access to hers.

What cyber security experts worry about with both is that these accounts are not as secure as email that is housed with a governmental server. In addition to the release of Pence’s emails, investigators have found his account was hacked. This is problematic because the Vice President was using the account to discuss serious security matters. He used to go over terrorist threats around the planet and in Indiana.

The Vice President’s office released this statement on the controversy:

“Similar to previous governors, during his time as Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence maintained a state email account and a personal email account. As Governor, Mr. Pence fully complied with Indiana law regarding email use and retention. Government emails involving his state and personal accounts are being archived by the state consistent with Indiana law, and are being managed according to Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act.”


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