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Cramer Introduces SERVER Act to Ensure Transparent and Secure Communications by Cabinet Secretaries

Oct 13, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer has introduced H.R.3743, an Act to prohibit the Secretary of an executive department from maintaining a private email server for conducting official government business. The Securing Every Relevant and Vital Electronic Record or SERVER Act of 2015 would ensure the electronic communications of Secretaries of executive departments are safer and more secure from cyber-attack by eliminating the use of private email servers.    

In 2014, Congress passed, and the President signed, the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014 which established regulations for electronic record keeping for executive agencies. Under this law, officers or employees of an executive agency cannot create or send a record using a non-official electronic messaging account unless they copy their official electronic messaging account in the original creation or transmission of the record, or forward a complete copy of the record to their official electronic messaging account no later than 20 days after the original creation or transmission of the record. Currently there are no laws which explicitly prohibit the use of unsecure private email servers.

“Our nation’s electronic communications and records are under constant cyber-attack by terrorist organizations and more frequently by foreign governments,” said Cramer.   “This legislation ensures no Department Secretary may use a private server for emails and storage of electronic data.  It is in the interest of national security to ensure our nation’s secrets and communications between our top leaders receive the highest level of protection.”

Any Secretary found violating this Act faces possible fines under Title 18 of the U.S. Code., imprisonment of up to three years, and would forfeit their office and be disqualified from holding any future office under the United States. 

“The use of private email servers may inhibit the preservation of all records and electronic communications which may be needed for Congressional, civil or criminal investigations,” said Cramer.  “The SERVER Act will help ensure all records and communications are maintained and stored in compliance with federal law.”

The bill has been referred to the U.S House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Download a copy of the bill here.