In the aftermath of the attacks on Sony Pictures Entertainment, President Trump announced that the National Security Agency would be buying a new security enhancement, called a “secure communications device,” from Dell.
Trump’s press secretary did not clarify whether the device was being used to secure the communications of the president, or whether the devices used in the attacks were being used by the agency to intercept communications.
The press secretary’s statement did not explain the nature of the device or the reason the NSA was purchasing it.
On Twitter, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the president was “looking into the details.”
But as the AP’s John Bresnahan and Paul Kane report, the device that the president is considering buying is a security-enhancing security system that uses infrared technology to detect and intercept electronic communications from “unauthorized” parties.
The AP’s report does not say exactly how the technology works, but it says that the device can be used to detect signals from unauthorized sources, which can then be used by intelligence agencies to identify those sources and determine if they pose a threat.
The technology is meant to be used in a variety of ways, including for remote eavesdropping on the devices of suspected terrorists, or for monitoring and intercepting the communications and communications of criminal networks.
“The president’s team is currently evaluating the merits of a security system, but he is looking into the particulars,” Spicer said on Twitter.
The DHS did not respond to a request for comment.
The White House did not specify what purpose the new system would serve, and the Pentagon did not comment.
A DHS spokesperson said that DHS “is reviewing its purchase of the security enhancement to determine the appropriate use of the system.”
This article has been updated to include additional information.