President Obama's Blackberry

  crosstrainer 14:28 24 Jan 2009

It seems that the new president steadfastly refuses to part with his beloved Blackberry, and has given the security boffins a big task in trying to lock it down. No previous US President has carried one for obvious reasons.

He is adamant that he will continue to use it. They will never be able to make it 100% secure though.

  Forum Editor 15:49 24 Jan 2009

That's because he's vastly inexperienced as far as being President is concerned. He'll be persuaded to see sense soon, but at the moment he wants to pretend that he can go against all the conventions - it's an important part of his 'man of the people' image.

He'll change, once the realities of office start to hit home.

  crosstrainer 15:51 24 Jan 2009

He will have to.....You would never lock down a Blackberry, his security staff must be having nightmares.

  ulrich 18:21 24 Jan 2009

Why it is so important he doesn't use it?

  Forum Editor 18:30 24 Jan 2009

Because it isn't completely secure - someone could intercept his calls and emails.

I'm sure that as we speak Research In Motion (RIM who make Blackberry has a team concentrating on ways to secure the President's device, but his advisers will continue to urge him to stop using it.

When you're the President of the United States you sacrifice a good deal of personal freedom, and President Obama will gradually realise that fact.

  ulrich 19:39 24 Jan 2009

He won't be contacting the Pentagon on it?
Also if the gentleman in Britain was able to get onto the Pentagon website it doesn't matter anyway?

  interzone55 19:51 24 Jan 2009

"Also if the gentleman in Britain was able to get onto the Pentagon website it doesn't matter anyway?"

There's a slight difference between hacking into the Pentagon's website and intercepting presidential communications.

  dagnammit 23:00 24 Jan 2009

What does the President use instead then?

A big red phone on his desk? Hardly 21st Century.

(I really have no idea - the above is meant to be tongue in cheek)

  Forum Editor 23:24 24 Jan 2009

He speaks on a secure telephone in the Oval office, and has a special communications officer with him when he's on the move. That person carries equipment that enables the President to contact the White House, the Pentagon, and key government advisers via an encrypted satellite link.

All American Presidents are subject to the Presidential records Act, which means that all correspondence must be in the official record, and available for public review if necessary. Presidents do not send emails - at least not so far - and I very much doubt that Obama will be permitted to do so, via his Blackberry or anything else.

If he has a laptop in the Oval Office he'll be the first President to do so, but he will not be emailing on it - at least not unless he goes directly against warnings offered by his security adviser.

As I said earlier, being President means losing personal liberties, and President Obama is going to realise that all too soon.

  dagnammit 23:48 24 Jan 2009

Thank you for the answer, it's quite interesting.

  Forum Editor 00:49 25 Jan 2009

Next time you see footage of President Obama on the move, take a look at the rear of the presidential car (code name 'Cadillac one'). You might spot the aerials that are fixed to the boot lid. There are about half a dozen of them, and they enable the President to talk to a special communications car that follows in the motorcade. That car is packed with sophisticated electronic communications equipment and communications experts. They can put their Commander in Chief in touch with any of his advisers, any American military commander or Embassy, or any head of state of a foreign country,anywhere in the world, in a matter of moments.

He's out of touch in some ways, but very much in touch in others. There's never a time when he can't communicate with almost anyone, but he must do it the official way, and not from a Blackberry.

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