As Scott notes below, Clinton and her senior staff were well aware of the security risks posed by the widespread use of personal e-mail by State Department officials. The latest batch of released emails drives this point home.
In one email exchange, Anne-Marie Slaughter, a high level staffer, suggested protesting proposed budget cuts by pointing out publicly that the agency’s poor technology often forces high-ranking officials to use personal email. Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills responded:
As someone who attempted to be hacked (yes I was one), I am not sure we want to telegraph how much folks do or don’t do off state mail b/c it may encourage others who are out there.
Absent from the discussion is any mention of Clinton’s own use of a private email account and server. Absent from the discussion is any suggestion that such usage be curtailed. The focus instead is on not publicizing it.
The exchange shows that Clinton knew hackers had gone after the emails of her chief of staff. Yet Clinton continued to use her own unsecured system. Did she at least take measures, in light of Mills’ experience, to improve the security of her system?
Not that we know of. Instead, as Scott points out (per Shannen Coffin), she sent a cable to diplomatic and consular officials serving overseas alerting them to the security risks of hacking and warning them to “avoid conducting official Department business from your personal e-mail accounts.”
As Coffin says, “private email for me, but not for thee.”