Australian Prime Minister runs private email server

Any hacker capable of sinking a tinnie of Fosters will be trying to crack it as you read


Australia's newly minted prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has admitted to running a private email server.

Turnbull took over from incumbent Tony Abbott last month after a party room vote, becoming Australia's fifth prime minister in the span of five years.

Previously communications minister, a role in which he credits himself with having turned around Australia's national broadband network, Turnbull has a long history with and deep enthusiasm for the technology industries. The new PM famously invested in OzEmail, which went on to become Australia's dominant internet service provider in the dialup age, blogs, tweets, wears an Apple Watch and has admitted to use of self-destructing and metadata-free instant messaging service Wickr.

It's therefore highly likely he's aware of the kerfuffle surrounding Hilary Clinton's personal email server.

Murdoch organ The Australian writes that Turnbull has used the server, and his personal domain malcolmturnbull.com.au, for personal and government business. The PM's justification for doing so is that not all government business requires security-controlled email.

It's unclear whether Turnbull has used his server for prime ministerial business.

The server running the PM's personal web page is protected by CloudFlare, so enjoys security through obscurity. Public MX records searches turn up no result for an mail server attached to the domain, so perhaps the PM's again covered his tracks with some degree of cleverness.

Turnbull's office says using a private email server is not illegal, nor does it create complications under Australia's Freedom of Information laws. The Reg expects both assertions to be tested sooner rather than later. ®

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