Hogan, the administration discovered it was using an endangered messaging app to communicate with staff| Top stories
Hogan, the administration discovered it was using an endangered messaging app to communicate with staff
| Breaking News Updates | Local News
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) and his administration have been found to use a messaging app that deletes messages after 24 hours, keeping his internal communications with staff members private and out of state records.
Messages from end-to-end encryption app Wickr obtained by the Washington Post show Hogan speaking on a wide range of topics, including the state’s response to the pandemic, coordination with staff, and complaints against the media. The chat rooms used by Hogan were set to a timer called “Burn-on-Read” that deletes messages after 24 hours, the Post reported, citing recordings.
Hogan spokesman Mike Ricci told the Post that the governor is using the app to “have political and communication conversations with advisers, many of whom are not for the state.” But Post reports show that state employees who responded to Hogan’s messages include his chief of staff and communications director.
In one case, Hogan complained to staff members that he admitted that 500,000 tests he ordered from South Korea in the spring of 2020 needed to be replaced due to defects.
“Stop talking about 1,000 fucking tests !!!! Read what I’m saying. The tests are limitless,” Hogan wrote in a message obtained by The Post.
In November, the Post asked the public archives for chat lists and messages from the governor and about two dozen of his employees to confirm Wickr’s use and asked each individual to take “urgent and immediate” action. to preserve records.
The governor’s office then provided screenshots of the messages. Although he did not consider the records to be public, he provided them “in the interest of transparency,” according to one of Hogan’s government lawyers.
Hogan declined to be interviewed by the Post about his use of the app.
Maryland law requires each level of state government to keep its records on a schedule. The automatic deletion of messages by Hogan and members of his administration means that it can never be determined whether communications can be made public or be kept by archives once he leaves office.
Hogan, who will complete his second term in 2022, touted transparency, writing in a 2020 brief that if “you’re transparent and let people know what’s going on, give them the facts, they’ll stand by your side against it. wind and tides “.
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