Monday, January 26, 2009

Barack Obama & His Beloved BlackBerry

Barack Obama & His Beloved BlackBerry
President-elect Barack Obama, as far as we know, has two addictions: cigarettes and his BlackBerry cell phone. While his wife leans on him to give up the cigarettes, his staff aides have been insisting he retire the cell phone.
There is very little doubt that Obama will give up his trusty Blackberry, however, the Secret Service will deal with him about that. Because, he has to use secured communications, so that no one can eavesdrop on his conversations.This is just one of many changes that will take place in his life that he will have to get used to.If he didn't want the restrictions and boundaries then he shouldn't have have ran for President. It is the Secret Service's job to protect him and his family, and they have rules and regulations, that have to be followed to protect him and his family.

Under the arrangement, a super-encryption package will be added to Obama's BlackBerry, giving the most powerful person on the planet on-the-go access to e-mail. According to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, "use will be limited." Obama will only be able to e-mail senior staff, Gibbs told reporters, as well as "a small group of personal friends."
I think it's a security risk personally. I'm not entirely convinced that it's impossible for someone to track the Blackberry phone's GPS location. Perhaps if they can completely disable the GPS capability of the phone. Even then there's the issue of the email. Email is almost never truly secure due to all of the places it goes through between source and destination.

The highest level of encryption for BlackBerrys currently used by top-level government officers is Secret, and -- as the most visible target for hackers -- Obama's security needs are higher. For instance, a BlackBerry can become a homing device broadcasting its user's location, or it can be hacked to act as a remote microphone, in addition to more standard e-mail and voice-communication prying.

Obama has said his BlackBerry allows him to more easily get around the bubble that presidents find themselves in. "They're going to pry it out of my hands," he told one interviewer before the compromise was reached.

The president has been adamant about continuing to use a BlackBerry, which has Internet and e-mail access, despite concerns that likely have made the National Security Agency as nervous as the Secret Service on Inauguration Day when Obama left his presidential limo twice to walk and wave to crowds along Pennsylvania Avenue.

But e-mail, which appears to be Obama's main interest, can be a two-edged sword. The Freedom of Information Act and the Presidential Records Act of 1978 require that e-mails relating to official business be preserved as public records. The informal nature of such e-mails can lead to embarrassment or worse.

Security analyst at the nonprofit Information Technology & Innovation Foundation in Washington, said Obama is probably using the Sectera Edge even though Gibbs called it a BlackBerry, because BlackBerry has become an almost generic term used to refer to a number of handhelds.

Despite new talk about encryption, a security expert said the main issue about how the president would use his superencrypted BlackBerry is whether it was being used for contact with people outside government. If Obama wanted to reach an outsider via the BlackBerry, then the person getting his messages would need to have a BlackBerry equipped with super-de-cryption capabilities

Obama is well known for his BlackBerry addiction, something millions of Americans can identify with. The device, with several models available, is the best-selling smartphone in the United States, heavily favored by corporate culture for its robust features and physical QWERTY keyboards that are considered superior for mobile e-mail.

The President & BlackBerry - Obama will need all the help he can get in managing the presidential workload. It hardly seems in the public interest to deprive him of communications devices and productivity tools that millions of Americans take for granted in their own lives. Does Obama really have to give up his beloved BlackBerry? I think not.

Free Blackberry Software
- Blackberry Pearl Accessory -

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