The FBI is looking into allegations that Chinese hackers may have violated the personal Google email accounts of several hundred people, including senior government officials.
White House press secretary Jay Carney says while no official government email accounts appear to have been compromised, but the bureau has opened an investigation.
Carney would not comment on whether or not China was involved. "I'm not confirming anything about origins, except to say that we are aware of the reports and are obviously concerned about cyber security and have taken action accordingly," Carney told reporters.
Carney says government personnel are not prohibited from holding a Gmail account, but since the Presidential Records Act requires the preservation of all government records including email, "we need to conduct all of work on our government accounts."
Carney says President Obama has made cyber security a top priority. The administration released a proposal early last month that would give the Homeland Security Department authority to work with private companies to detect vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure such as financial institutions. Critics of the proposal say it gives the government unprecedented access to private information.