Hillary Clinton’s “EmailGate” – a Lesson in Email Security

One of the top stories (and there have been many) underscoring the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election focuses on email security.  At first the controversy was limited to just Hilary Clinton’s use of a private email account to conduct government business as Secretary of State but was expanded when hackers gained access to the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) database.  The DNC was so compromised the Hackers were able to read email and chat communications.

These events, and their political and international security fall-outs, has significantly altered the publics’ opinion of Clinton and the DNC as well as highlighted the increasing importance of email security for business, personal and international security.

As trust in the security of digital communication is at the forefront of many minds it is essential for businesses to ensure their data and communications are secure and to relay that security to consumers.

Below is a timeline of top stories from Clinton’s EmailGate:

  • June 29, 2011: A State Department cable to employees is issued under Clinton’s signature (as are all cables) after Google revealed that hackers were targeting the personal e-mail accounts of U.S. government employees. The cable warns: “Avoid conducting official Department business from your personal e-mail accounts.”


  • March 15, 2013: Hilary Clinton’s private e-mail account is surfaced after a hacker named “Guccifer” comprised the email account of Sidney Blumenthal, a former Bill Clinton aide



  • Summer 2014: State Department investigation into Benghazi shows no emails to or from Clinton’s official state email address. Referenced in:


  • November 14, 2014: Obama Signs Modernized Federal Records Act


  • March 2, 2015: “Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record”


  • March 5, 2015 “As State Department lawyers sifted last summer through a new batch of documents related to the Benghazi attacks, they repeatedly saw something that caught their attention: emails sent to and from a personal account for Hillary Rodham Clinton”


  • March 10, 2015: Hillary Clinton Tries to Quell Controversy Over Private Email


  • May 25, 2016 – the State Department publishes an 83-page report concluding their investigation into Clinton’s use of private email for government work


  • June 15, 2015 What Russia’s DNC Hack Tells Us About Hillary Clinton’s Private Email Server


  • June 22, 2016: Clinton Foundation Said to Be Breached by Russian Hackers


  • June 29, 2016 New analysis shows 160 emails missing from Clinton’s disclosure to State:

“disclosures over the past several weeks have revealed dozens of emails related to Clinton’s official duties that crossed her private server and were not included in the 55,000 pages of correspondence she turned over to the State Department when the agency sought her emails in 2014.”



  • July 5, 2016: FBI Recommends No Criminal Charges Against Hillary Clinton in Email Case but stated that Clinton was “extremely careless”


  • July 6, 2016: Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that no charges would be filed.


  • July 7, 2016 – WikiLeaks publishes more Clinton emails after FBI ruling


  • July 7, the State Department reopened its probe into the email controversy.


  • July 22, 2016 – WikiLeaks publishes even more Clinton emails heading into the DNC convention – part 1 of their new “Hilary Leaks” series



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