The Australian newspaper has revealed that the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was using a private email server for government business.
The former communications minister said that Mr Turnbull used secret messaging application “Wickr” earlier this year because it provided superior security.
“Wickr” allows users to send encrypted messages to other users of the application, without leaving traceable data, with the messages self-destructing after being read.
A spokesman of Mr Turnbull said that he has continued using such private systems since he moved into the Prime Minister’s office, but stressed the server is located in Australia.
The spokesman also said that many MPs and ministers use similar services for “non-sensitive material for reasons of convenience and superior functionality”.
“Firstly, you shouldn’t assume that government email services are more secure than private ones … but nonetheless we do have rules relating to them. Secondly, I can tell you that text messaging, which is widely used, is the least form of communication — it’s unencrypted in transit and unencrypted at rest. Over-the-top applications, there are a number of over-the-top applications that offer a much higher degree of security,” Mr Turnbull said.
However, some experts have warned that the private email server could be more defenceless comparing with the federal parliament’s secure system.
They also concerns whether it could end up subverting freedom-of-information laws.