Ars Technica did a nice job of creating an impartial write-up on why Hillary Clinton used an external email server, and how it was actually used. It sounds to me like there’s an institutional history of using private email to conduct business, largely due to obstructive or incompetent IT services (in fairness to the State Department IT team, there are likely a number of complicated policies and legal requirements that they’re trying to work around, which is difficult). Still, that’s not an excuse to use a home server to manage official communication– if you must use your own email address, at least use something like Google Apps or Microsoft Exchange Online, where you have teams of people professionally managing the email environment [1. Of course, there is still the issue of all email traffic being unsecured and transmitted in plaintext. But you could use a PGP solution to reduce risks there.].
It’s also interesting to see that the NSA basically shot down any possibility of her getting a secured mobile device; I would have thought that providing the Secretary of State– the person who comes fourth in the presidential line of succession– with secure communications at all time would be a priority for them.
You can read the full story here.