A week before becoming Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton set up a private e-mail system that gave her a high level of control over communications, including the ability to erase messages completely, according to security experts who have examined Internet records.
“You erase it and everything’s gone,” Matt Devost, a security expert who has had his own private e-mail for years. Commercial services like those from Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. retain copies even after users erase them from their in-box.
Although Clinton worked hard to secure the private system, her consultants appear to have set it up with a misconfigured encryption system, something that left it vulnerable to hacking, said Alex McGeorge, head of threat intelligence at Immunity Inc., a Miami Beach-based digital security firm.
The e-mail flap has political significance because Clinton is preparing to announce a bid for the Democratic nomination for president as soon as April. It also reminds voters of allegations of secrecy that surrounded Bill Clinton’s White House. In those years, First Lady Hillary Clinton fought efforts by some White House advisers to turn over information to Whitewater investigators and, later, sought to keep secret records of her task force on health-care reform. […]