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Hillary Clinton campaign posts 3,600-word explainer of private email scandal

Hillary Clinton campaign posts 3,600-word explainer of private email scandal

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Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's emails are now a big enough issue that they merit an official 3,600-word fact sheet. Today, the campaign put up its own gigantic explainer, covering why the former secretary of state stored mail on a private server instead of an official State Department account, whether that server violated government transparency policies, and how she decided what to hand over for public release.

The fact sheet aggregates news coverage, quotes from Clinton's speeches, and known statistics. It repeats, for example, that she "opted to use her personal email account as a matter of convenience." Clinton once again says she maintained transparency by sending her messages to other people's official State Department accounts, and that she handed over the entire work-related portion of her messages to the State Department before the scandal leaked. Unsurprisingly, the Clinton campaign concludes that this was entirely legal. Outside fact-checking group Politifact (which Clinton quotes favorably) is less sure that she followed the spirit, or even the letter, of the law.

A collection of just about everything Clinton has said about her email

Whatever its spin, the page genuinely tries to address every single question about Clinton's communication, right down to whether she read emails on her iPad as well as her BlackBerry. This does actually matter, to a point — she's said she used a non-governmental email address so she could carry just one device instead of two. (Weirdly, parts of the answer also double as great promotional quote fodder. "When the iPad came out in 2010, she was as curious as others and found it great for shopping, browsing, and reading articles when she traveled" would fit right in at the next Apple event.) But it's probably less important than some of the questions she hedged, like the server's security measures.

It's fun to think that digital security and government transparency have genuinely become important enough to deserve a place beside economic growth and equal pay laws. But the email scandal has gotten so much play partly because of the ongoing Benghazi attack investigation, which centers on Clinton's actions as secretary of state. Even so, given the past year's high-profile government and corporate hacks, general cybersecurity will probably still come up a lot in the coming months.