In a report by the New York Times
, officials can only use non-approved methods of contact when there's no alternative. This ruling is not only to maintain security, but also so that every message can be instantly archived by oversight committees, historians and, eventually, the media. Clinton isn't the only Secretary of State to fall foul of the regulation, however, since Colin Powell was also a fan of using his private email account. Clinton's replacement, John Kerry, is a bit more of a company man, and is the first secretary to "primarily" rely upon his state.gov email account.
Clinton is expected to announce her intention to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, so her opponents are making a big stink about the revelation. Jeb Bush, a likely opponent in the 2016 election, tweeted
that "transparency matters," although when he himself published his own e-mail records, he inadvertently revealed people's social security numbers and addresses
. There was also criticism from the director of the national security archive, amongst others, who raised questions as to the security of this personal email account. Presumably she'll have to change her tune if she wins in 2016 or be stuck with a hand-me-down Obamaphone