07/03/2016 12:53 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

You Can Still iMessage Lots Of Australian Politicians


Remember in March last year when it emerged that federal politicians had their publicly available Parliament House email addresses linked to their iMessage accounts, meaning anyone could send a text message to their mobile phones?

It seems our pollies haven't learned their lesson, with at least 12 federal MPs -- including Scott Morrison, Christopher Pyne and Philip Ruddock -- still available to text through their public email addresses.

One year ago, almost to the day, Australians started discovering some of our federal politicians had their email addresses linked to the iMessage accounts for their Apple devices. This meant, in effect, anyone with an Apple device could send a text message to these politicians, which included Attorney-General George Brandis and Environment Minister Greg Hunt. Of course, once the story circulated, people began taking advantage of that fact.

Politicians get a standard email address, which is often freely available and on display on their parliamentary contact pages, and it seems some link that email to their phones.

The Huffington Post Australia found that from a list of 150 members and 76 senators that 12 MPs -- including treasurer Scott Morrison, Minister for Innovation Industry and Science Christopher Pyne, Minister for Health Sussan Ley and retiring "father of the House" Philip Ruddock -- still had their email addresses linked to their iMessage.

When the email address in the "to" field turns blue, it means that person is available for iMessage and they will receive the message as a text on their mobile phone. We found Morrison, Pyne, Ruddock and Ley, as well as Labor MPs Joel Fitzgibbon, Alan Griffin, Richard Marles and Andrew Leigh, Liberal MPs Luke Hartsuyker, Peter Hendy and Dennis Jensen and Nationals MP Kevin Hogan.

It seems it is a trend totally confined to the House of Representatives, as we couldn't find a single senator who had their email linked to their iMessage. HuffPost Australia contacted each of the MPs in question, informing them that their email address was linked to their phone, and to confirm that they could indeed be contacted through their email address.

A spokesman for Ruddock said the MP no longer uses an Apple device to receive messages, instead now using a Nokia, and that the iMessage connection was likely an oversight. Andrew Leigh told us his email was linked by accident during the set-up of a new iPad, and that he had now disconnected that link.

Joel Fitzgibbon told us "sadly I wasn't aware I did nor have I been advised it's a problem."