— -- Like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is embroiled in political controversy centered around her use of a private email server for official business, U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy is now facing scrutiny for her use of a commercial email account for government business.
The State Department Inspector General posted a report online today that says, in part, that Kennedy has used her private email to handle information marked “Sensitive but Unclassified” while serving as America's top diplomat in Japan.
After receiving reports concerning the use of private email, the Office of the Inspector General "conducted a review and confirmed that senior embassy staff, including the Ambassador, used personal email accounts to send and receive messages containing official business," the report states. It goes on to say that some emails were "labeled Sensitive but Unclassified."
State Department Spokesman John Kirby said today that the practice of sending "Sensitive but Unclassified" information on private email is strongly discouraged, but not forbidden outright.
"We've seen no indication that Ambassador Kennedy violated any department policy with respect to her email practices and she ... continues to use a government e-mail account for her official business," Kirby said today.
The report also provides an explanation of the risks that come with using a commercial account.
"Such risks include data loss, hacking, phishing, and spoofing of email accounts, as well as inadequate protections for personally identifiable information," the report says.
Kirby also noted that the report was focused on an overall review of the U.S. embassy in Japan, not solely the use of Ambassador Kennedy's email.
Kennedy is the daughter of late President John F. Kennedy.
The Inspector General of the Intelligence Community -- a federation of the 17 government agencies that conduct intelligence activities -- has said that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a private email server to handle classified information. Kennedy is only said to be dealing in Sensitive but Unclassified material.