Governor Andrew Cuomo is reacting to a report this week by the Daily News that suggested the governor uses his PIN function on his Blackberry instead of email to avoid a paper trail. As Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman reports, Cuomo says it's all about secure communication and his administration uses many forms of communication.
NEW YORK STATE -- Governor Andrew Cuomo has trumpeted his administration's transparency policies since he first took office in January 2011. But while he professes a love of sunlight, Cuomo often prefers to operate in the shadows. The Daily News reported on Monday that Cuomo uses his Blackberry's personal identification number, or PIN function, instead of emails in order to avoid a paper trail. In Utica on Wednesday, the governor defended the practice.
Cuomo said, “Hacking is a problem and if you have a secure communication or a confidential communication or information that you don't want disseminated, than you have a find a secure means to communicate it.”
Cuomo has posted versions of his public schedule online and when he first took office, opened the second floor wing of the Capitol where his office is located, which had been closed since the George Pataki era. The governor also notes he's put a records retention policy in place early.
“The administration uses email, it uses PINs, it uses telephones, it uses paper and we have the first policy of any state administration this early on exactly what should be retained and exactly how for what archives,” Cuomo said.
The governor isn't the only official in Albany to avoid emails. A freedom of information request made by Capital Tonight earlier this year for all emails between the governor's top aides and registered lobbyists yielded very little: Just 14 messages between January and the end of March, the height of the state budget making process.
Cuomo said, “This government like any one in any community. This company uses a number of different electronic devices to communicate and some are more secure than others.”