Feeds

Obama gets to keep his BlackBerry

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

The Power of One Infographic

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. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
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.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.