In a message from the director of the Michigan State Police, officers have been instructed to remove “nonstandard” applications from their provided state phones. In addition, officers must now seek authorization before downloading such apps going forward, according to a story by the Detroit Free Press.
The memo comes after various articles have detailed senior Michigan State Police members using the encrypted communication application Signal, which keeps no record of text messages sent and received. Once the messages are deleted within the Signal application, they are unable to be traced or recovered. This finding raised concerns about the potential ability to evade the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, should communications between officers be requested.
Attorney James Fett, who is representing previous officers fired by the Michigan State Police and alleging retaliation in their cases, fears that relevant text messages exchanged over the Signal application are gone and irretrievable.
Officers who would like to use a nonstandard application on their work provided devices must fill out a form to get authorization to do so. Social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn are specified as not needing prior authorization.
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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology