Feeds

Obama gets to keep his BlackBerry

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's 'super-encryption'

The essential guide to IT transformation

President Obama can keep his BlackBerry, making him the first sitting president to use email.

Barack Obama has resisted calls to relinquish his beloved handheld despite concerns over personal security, espionage, and presidential record-keeping.

"He has a BlackBerry through a compromise that allows him to stay in touch with senior staff and a small group of personal friends in a way that use will be limited and security enhanced to ensure his ability to communicate, but to do so effectively and to do so in a way that is protected," White House press secretary Roberts Gibbs told reporters on Thursday.

Some in the intelligence community fear the device may be a source of information leaks or be used to track the president's location.

Gibbs wouldn't elaborate on how the president's handheld will be protected, or the type of security enhancements that have been added.

Former presidents have chosen not to use email because they can be subpoenaed by Congress and made public under the Presidential Records Act. Gibbs said the "presumption" is that emails on the BlackBerry are still subject to public records laws, but noted the Act includes exceptions for strictly personal messages.

Of course, sometimes personal communications are released anyway, such the this clip of Lyndon Johnson informing his tailor about how he wants his pants fitted in relation to his "bunghole."

According to The Atlantic magazine, the president will use a BlackBerry fitted with a "super-encryption package" developed by an unnamed intelligence agency - most likely the National Security Agency.

"He believes that it's a way of keeping in touch with folks and a way of doing it outside of getting stuck in a bubble," said Gibbs at the press briefing.

Neither George W. Bush nor Bill Clinton used email during their presidencies, although Bush has claimed he used email before becoming president. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?