Obama to keep his BlackBerry, gets ’super-encryption’

Want Obama wants, Obama gets. Scoring the first major victory of his nascent term, the White House announced today that President Barack Obama will indeed keep his BlackBerry (eat it, Sectera Edge). President Obama will use the BlackBerry to keep in touch with “senior staff and a small group of personal friends.” As we’ve mentioned previously, Obama’s decision will have significant effects on the transparency of his communications.

Gibbs said the presumption from the White House counsel’s office is that e-mails will be subject to the Presidential Records Act, the law that requires the National Archives to preserve presidential records. But he also said that some exemptions in the law allow for “strictly personal communications.” He did not say how that classification would be determined but made clear that the device could be used for both business and personal communication.

How did Obama get the deal done? By turning the NSA loose on his BlackBerry:

On Monday, a government agency said that the Obama administration — but that is probably the National Security Agency — added to a standard BlackBerry a super-encryption package…. and Obama WILL be able to use it … still for routine and personal messages.

Wait a minute… NSA… ’super-encryption package’… Is this why RIM wanted to buy Certicom?

Thanks to @marybethlowell and @frasercole for the tip!

|via Atlantic and SacBee|

3 Responses to “Obama to keep his BlackBerry, gets ’super-encryption’”

  1. 1 Megalink

    Actually, he’s using both. The NSA has not approved RIM’s encryption.

    Search for:
    Report: Obama to Use BlackBerry for Personal Life, Sectera Edge for the Rest
    By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor

  2. 2 Matt

    I really don’t see how using a Blackberry would at all violate the Presidential Records Act. His email- official or not- can still be archived, right?

    On the plus side, of all the handsets I’ve used- which is to say, all the major platforms except iPhone- Blackberry is the one that takes device security seriously. Check out the Security Options in the Options menu some time.

  3. 3 crackie

    I dont see a problem with him and a blackberry, if anyone saw last weeks new york times magazine, there was pictures of some of his staff in there and they where all holding there blackberry’s while they have there photo taking.

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