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Obama Keeps His Blackberry (And Gets a Sectera) 365

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the good-cuz-crazy-glue-hurts dept.
InternetVoting writes "After all the controversy surrounding Obama's Blackberry, word has come that he will get to keep it. Few details are available and neither the National Security Agency nor the White House are talking. The current rumor is that the Blackberry will be used exclusively for personal use and a Sectera Edge will be used for official communications."
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Obama Keeps His Blackberry (And Gets a Sectera)

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  • by characterZer0 (138196) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @09:39AM (#26558707)

    Kinda like rnc.org for personal use and whitehouse.gov for official communications?

  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Thursday January 22, 2009 @09:41AM (#26558725)

    The main reason for the President himself to not to have something like a personal BlackBerry or other personal communications devices -- ones which is he is publicly known to have, anyway -- is simply the high-profile nature and symbolism of the target. It doesn't matter that other federal agencies and the military use them for one purpose or another.

    This is the case even with all the compelling "finger on the pulse of [insert subject du jour here]" and Information Age tempo arguments. The fact is that the President will have an army of aides who can all have their fingers directly on the multitude of things that the President cares about and needs to know about.

    And in the event that a case is made, internal to the administration, that the President -- now or in the future -- really needs to have his own personal communications device(s), that fact in itself -- not to mention the specific equipment and carriers -- doesn't need to be, and, frankly, shouldn't be, publicly disclosed.

    Also, from the article:

    Obama and other officials won't be able to use Instant Messaging in the White House.

    This is for a variety of reasons, but security is not necessarily one of them. For example, an IM service offered by the DNI's Intelligence Community Enterprise Solutions group does provide instant messaging services using the open Jabber protocol up to the TOP SECRET/SCI level.

    • by diersing (679767) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @09:47AM (#26558771)
      I just hope they cross the GPS signal with another device that is, you know, not tracking the President's exact location.
      • Do mobile phones constantly broadcast their GPS location?

        Serious question. I know they have it for E911, but is the location constantly (or regularly) pinged to the network or does it have to be activated by the 911 operator?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by capnkr (1153623)

          I don't think they "broadcast" it per se, but the network does track them; it has to, in order to know which other tower to hand off the signal to if the phone is moving. Someone who gained access to the system enough to read any messages they'd like would, I'd think, also be able to get individual phone tracking info from the network.

          Disclaimer: I am not in the cell phone industry, these are just things I have gleaned from reading over the years. I'm sure someone with exact knowledge will chime in soon.

          • by BobMcD (601576)

            I believe this to be the case. In fact, I'm fairly certain that this sort of technology has been leveraged against mobsters, and that reports of such were on this very news site.

            IIRC, they were flipping on the mic's also.

        • by AlecC (512609) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Thursday January 22, 2009 @12:20PM (#26560827)

          The don't broadcast their GPS location, but they are in continuous communication with several cell controllers so they can hand over seamlessly as you move from cell to cell. And as they do so, they automatically regulate their transmit power level so that it only just reaches the controller, in order to minimise spill-over to other cells and hence minimise the number of bufer cells before you can re-use the same frequencies.

          And, since power is inversely proportion to the square of distance, that actually means the cell controller knows how far away you are. Three such controllers, you can triangulate and find out where you are. And this happens all the time.

          Used by the police in the UK when two girls were murdered. One of their mobile phones was last switched off outside the murderers house.

    • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross@@@yahoo...ca> on Thursday January 22, 2009 @09:54AM (#26558835)

      I can buy the top secret nature of the device. That is a legitimate concern. I also agree that his safety is important.

      But to not have a personal device because he is the "President" is pure crap! Since when did the "President" become royalty? So what that he is the leader of the USA, he is just another HUMAN...

      And I am tempted to believe he thinks the same way.

      The argument of the president having aides is exactly the problem of royalty and how their heads were cut off. When a human surrounds themselves with "aides" they surround themselves with "yes-men".

      What I think Obama wants is to not loose contact to the people who got him into office in the first place. And THAT I find commendable.

      I actually have a real problem with the need for "security" in a government where I elected them. The government is the people, and I want complete transparency. The government asks transparency of the financial community, and the car industry. Where is the transparency of the government?

      I happen to like direct democracy because it keeps the politicians close to the people.

      • by crmarvin42 (652893) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @10:14AM (#26559005)
        the need for security does not stem from fear of those that elected him, but from fear of foreign interests getting their hands on sensitive information. I could care less if China, Al-Queda, Russia, etc. get their hands on his emails from his wife. I do care if any of them were to get their hands on sensitive information like internal comments about on-going negotiations on pending legislate, trade agreements, or human rights issues.
      • but you, and other voters, are truly not the people who got him into office, let alone will you get credit for it or any other sort of acknowledgment. If you haven't figured it out by now this is a political machine, almost all of the people surrounding him are old school, hell this could be Clinton Part ][ considering many of the appointments.

        The one thing many voters (fanbois in this case) and even too many members of the press have wrong is that being there when it happened does not entitle one to be pa

      • by BobMcD (601576)

        I'd like to remind you that the position of President is voluntary. If he is unhappy with suspending his 'normal human' status for the next four-to-eight years, then perhaps he should look into another line of work.

        Look at all the rights and privileges a President loses:

        1) Must live in the Whitehouse
        2) Cannot travel anonymously
        3) All communications are monitored and recorded
        4) Cannot commit any crime
        5) Cannot have illicit sex
        6) Cannot have a bad hair day
        7) Little to no freedom of speech
        There's more, but I

      • by geekmux (1040042) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @01:09PM (#26561589)

        ...But to not have a personal device because he is the "President" is pure crap! Since when did the "President" become royalty? So what that he is the leader of the USA, he is just another HUMAN...

        This has nothing to do with the man himself (he puts his pants on the same way you and I do, one leg at a time), it has to do with the position and respecting the security involved. It's been quite some time since harm has come to the man in that position, and there's damn good Security policy and procedure in place that can attest to that. Certain things you should probably have to give up when you step into those shoes, including your beloved Crackberry.

        Chances are you work for a company who filters porn sites. Are you sitting back there making the same asinine arguement that "just because I'm at work I can't surf porn?!?" I would hope not. Again, it has little to do with you, it has to do with protecting the company.

        I actually have a real problem with the need for "security" in a government where I elected them. The government is the people, and I want complete transparency.

        With regards to the "security" being referenced here (a personal communications device), it has more to do with INFOSEC, OPSEC, and PHYSSEC than anything else.

        I believe the last time a President did not want any "security" encroaching upon him was Lincoln. Unfortunately, we all know how that turned out for him.

    • Just had cool idea for a game. It's based on the "Stock Market Games" where finance students compete against each other. Only in this case, you get the message that the president got, and then you get to evaluate the outcome of your choice. A possible title would be, "SIMS - Oval Office". The problem is that you would start seeing more gamers getting gray hair that played 4 years straight. And messages would come in Real Time. Lets face it, the D.O.D. has their version of a combat game for civilians,

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      It's too bad they won't let him just use the Blackberry for all communications as he intended. Now they have given him an reason to have "classified/unclassified conversations".

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jank1887 (815982)
      I'm waiting for the first time he's in a meeting with the most honored prime poobah of turkarmenikazicenglistan, and starts a war by insulting said poobah by checking the blackberry and replying to emails the way all of my bosses do in the middle of supposedly crucial meetings.
    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      I do wonder about the security issues that brings up. Someone working at Verizon could track the President by his Blackberry or could read his communications. Then you have the transparency issue. How do we know that it will only be used for personal use? The one person on the planet that pretty much gives up any expectation of privacy is the President.

  • DoD use Blackberries (Score:5, Interesting)

    by OffTheLip (636691) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @09:47AM (#26558761)
    Since Obama is commander in chief of the military shouldn't he be able to use the same technology (Blackberry) they use? If our national defense is entrusted to a product why would that not be good enough for the boss?
    • by digitig (1056110)
      Since Obama is commander in chief of the military, shouldn't he get to say what he's going to use?
    • by Xugumad (39311)

      No?

      I mean, in theory yes, however common sense should make it rapidly apparent that having a variety of diferent devices in use reduces the risk of a critical failure in one type bringing the whole system to its knees...

    • Since Obama is commander in chief of the military shouldn't he be able to use the same technology (Blackberry) they use? If our national defense is entrusted to a product why would that not be good enough for the boss?

      Well this is what is happening. The Sectra is probably secure enough for military needs. The main issue with the Blackberry is that e-mail transits over a third-party server, instead of going directly from sender to recipient. The Blackberry would also probably need to be connected to the VPN

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Locutus (9039)

        I'd figured that they'd get him a device which acted like the Blackberry but had the server under control by the White House and used a VPN between the device and the server. If BlackBerry was not willing to allow one of their servers placed under White House control then there are other options.

        I would bet that he ends up using the Windows based device very little. Just the hassle of switching between two devices is going to be a pain but then the size of that Sectera and the fact that it runs an OS which

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by houghi (78078)

      That is the reason we use unencrypted and unsigned email via Outlook for all our correspondence including confidential mails. If it is good enough for the CEO it is good enough for everybody else.

  • It turns out, that, after trashing Bush and Cheney for eight years for not making all of their communications public, the first thing the new Democratic President does is get for himself a means of making private communications based on his word that it will be for personal use only.

    Frankly, I don't dispute the right of any President to have secret communications. He needs to be judged by his work product and not be constantly subject to the Congress. It was wrong for Republicans to harrass Clinton during his Presidency and it was wrong for Bush to be harrassed as well. IT's not because, ideally, the President is above the law, but it is because, he (or she!), is not subjugated to the Congress. They are equal branches of government.

    • by AdmiralXyz (1378985) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @09:59AM (#26558891)

      No one is complaining about Bush's private communications with his family and friends, which is presumably what Obama will continue to use his Blackberry for. That information can and should remain private. The "Bush-trashing" is coming from the refusal of the Bush administration to release communications between, say, administration and intelligence officials, which can and should be a matter of public record, and probably contain a great deal of enlightening information on the administration's many illegal activities (torture, wiretapping, etc.)

      • My point is that, as soon as you allow the President to have a means of making "private" communications, then don't you think he or she would use that to keep his or her own deliberations secret? Your guys are chasing after Bush on a presumption of guilt of something, and you demand a right to all of his communications because they exist and prove your point. If Obama were to fall under the same accusations, there's no way that those communications could ever even exist, and therefor, it makes it impossible to even bother trying to go after him. He's got a relatively blank check now, that Bush never had. That's my point.

        My other point is, I think its good that the President have something of a blank check because the last 16 years of Clinton/Bush subpoenas and evidence gathering did little more than to undermine the power of the Presidency relative to the Congress, and right now, the Congress is completely out of control. The job of the Congress is to manage legislation and the federal purse and its failed at both. Meanwhile, it blames its own failures on the Presidency and thus , its not only wrecking itself, it wants to drag another branch of government down with it.

        The bottom line is, Dick Cheney is right. The Presidency needs to be more powerful relative to the Congress, and that is why Obama should get to keep his Blackberry, and -gasp-, even a cell phone, if he could get a secure one.

        • My point is that, as soon as you allow the President to have a means of making "private" communications, then don't you think he or she would use that to keep his or her own deliberations secret?

          Ok. Where do you draw the line? The President can't use a non-official phone? The President cannot ever be alone with somebody? The President cannot write a birthday card to his Auntie Mabel without a copy going into the permanant record?

          After all, 'best birthday wishes' might be code for 'buy Haliburton; we's invadin' another o'l country!' and 'best wishes on your birthday' might be code for 'sell Microsoft; we're sending Gates to Guantanamo tomorrow!'

          • by BobMcD (601576) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @11:24AM (#26559933)

            Where do you draw the line?

            Here's my line:

            Is he still the President? Record everything.

            No longer the President? Stop recording.

            Its a volunteer position, and he is there to serve us, not the other way around.

            Don't confuse President with CEO.

          • by tjstork (137384)

            After all, 'best birthday wishes' might be code for 'buy Haliburton; we's invadin' another o'l country!' and 'best wishes on your birthday' might be code for 'sell Microsoft; we're sending Gates to Guantanamo tomorrow!'

            MY big thing is, if Bill Clinton was, in the mid 1990s, sitting there trying to decide accountability when deciding not to give the order to fire the missile that takes out Bin Laden, then there is no 9/11 and consequently this country avoids two wars. That to me says that all of this "Presi

        • by anothy (83176)
          i don't care whether we're talking about Bush, Cheney, Obama, or anyone else: in America, it's vital that the President not be more powerful than congress. three main reasons.

          first, and most importantly, the Constitution says so. our government is designed so that the three branches of government check each other in roughly equal measure (although totally different ways, so it's hard to get exactly equal). while it doesn't have to be that way, it's the way our particular system is designed, and it's import
        • by WindowlessView (703773) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @12:08PM (#26560647)

          the last 16 years of Clinton/Bush subpoenas and evidence gathering did little more than to undermine the power of the Presidency relative to the Congress, and right now, the Congress is completely out of control.

          Forget about the Blackberry/phone stuff, what parallel universe did you just jet in from?

          The bottom line is, Dick Cheney is right. The Presidency needs to be more powerful relative to the Congress,

          Yeah, screw that whole balance of power thing the founders set up. It's inconvenient.

        • by sandbenders (301132) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @12:19PM (#26560811) Homepage

          the last 16 years of Clinton/Bush subpoenas and evidence gathering did little more than to undermine the power of the Presidency relative to the Congress

          I think if anything, the last 16 years has done the opposite- the power of congress (the *only directly elected representatives* we have in Washington) has been greatly diminished compared to the the presidency.

          The congress used to have exclusive rights to the declaration of war, yet neither of the last two wars (nor any since WWII) were 'declared' by the congress and indeed would have proceeded without their approval.

          The congress used to have the 'power of the purse' yet when they declined to prop up the car companies the president did it anyway.

          The congress used to have not just the power to oversee, but the *responsibility* for oversight. Yet when they asked to see documents concerning various potential violations of the law, including items regarding the outing of Valerie Plame, CIA interrogation techniques, warrantless wiretapping etc. the President refused to acknowledge their subpoenas.

          I for one want my directly elected representatives to be given their power back. I have some respect for Obama, and I hope that he will have the balls to put the power back where it belongs.

          Or in /. terms: Obama- please be Galadriel, not Saruman. Thanks.

      • by will_die (586523)
        And the reason the messages were not recorded on the automatic systems were that they were using blackberries and other systems that were provided for private and political reasons. Since they were not able to get similar devices for official purposes and people being people they used what was around.
        Oops my mistake should of read the whole message then I would of seen you are the fools who is fabricating illegal actions.
    • by jmyers (208878) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @10:03AM (#26558905)

      The big problem with email and any recorded communication really is that is can be used to craft almost any story you want to tell. Your enemies will always want access to all of your communications. This way they can edit them and release to the public in a way to paint a picture of you using your own words.

      Many people have been slandered this way for many years. So much that you would think that the general public could tell the difference between propaganda and reality. The problem remains that people believe what they want to hear and discount anything they don't want to hear. Give them an irrelevant email out of context and they will eat it up.

      I would recommended against any public figure using email.

    • They are equal branches of government.

      The separation of powers defined in the Constitution do not make for an *equal* separation of powers. Congress has much more authority than the other two branches of federal government.

      • The separation of powers defined in the Constitution do not make for an *equal* separation of powers. Congress has much more authority than the other two branches of federal government.

        Hamilton would disagree with you. If anything, he says that the President should be MORE powerful than the Congress, the role of the Congress to be a check on him, not the other way around.

        http://www.constitution.org/fed/federa70.htm [constitution.org]

    • by JavaTHut (9877)

      They are equal branches of government.

      The constitution most definitely does not say all branches are equal. The Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers both put the judicial branch as weaker than the other two. Granted to your point, the President was never intended to be more powerful than the Congress; it's no accident that if 76% of the congress agreed to it, they'd have the legal authority to abolish both the presidency and the supreme court and install cowboy neal as dictator for life.

      • it's no accident that if 76% of the congress agreed to it, they'd have the legal authority to abolish both the presidency and the supreme court and install cowboy neal as dictator for life.

        Actually, they'd only need 2/3 of both houses of congress. But, they'd also need 3/4 of the state legislatures to agree. Its a bit harder than you made it out to be.

    • Can my shell accept random, terse syntax to produce unexpected results? Yes! Just look for phroggy's sig.
    • If his blackberry is wires into the Gov't Blackberry Enterprise Server, you can rest assured all his communications on it are still 'logged' on the system, I simply hope he doesn't use it for personal gains.

      If it's his private blackberry, I simply hope he keeps it separate from his work.

      What Bush did wrong, was using Republican Party resources for personal and work means and then keeping everything inside it 'private'.

    • all his communication to us would come in the form of burning Bushes and stone tablets

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Felix Da Rat (93827)

      I just wanted to clarify a small thing. The Congress is responsible for the passage of laws, the Executive (President) is responsible for enacting those laws. While in theory, the two are equal, the power of law is based in Congress, which has the most direct connection to the people, and is most directly accountable.

      The President is not subject to Congress, however he can also not really act without their support. Were he truly to be a separate entity and not beholden to the laws passed to him by Cong

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jollyreaper (513215)

      It turns out, that, after trashing Bush and Cheney for eight years for not making all of their communications public, the first thing the new Democratic President does is get for himself a means of making private communications based on his word that it will be for personal use only.

      This for anyone confused by your argument -- there's obviously no hope of reaching you but I might just be able to reach them.

      There is a huge difference between personal privacy and professional privacy. Obama's health was his and his family's business when he was a senator. As President, it's a matter of public interest. Reagan's Alzheimer's after he left office, his business; his Alzheimer's when he was President, that was damn well America's business. It was nothing less than the question of whether he c

    • The problem was that there was a lot of evidence suggesting that President Bush and Cheney was conducting official business on his personal account, and these communications will not be archived according to law. Hopefully, Obama will avoid this problem but I do not have high hopes.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sycodon (149926)

      I think we will see a lot of this kind of back tracking in the next four years.

      Just look at the ethics situation now.

      A tax cheat will be running the Treasury Department and a guy who played a questionable role in getting another tax cheat and fugitive pardoned will be the Attorney General. Don't even talk about Hillary.

      Switch the party labels around and Slashdot would be in flames.

      • The tax cheat is getting the pass because he's the only guy in the Federal Reserve that correctly forecast the financial meltdown BEFORE it took place. In another time, there's no way he gets the nomination, but, since the whole economy is melting down, being the smartest guy in the room actually matters more than paying your taxes on time.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kingrames (858416)
        "Switch the party labels around and Slashdot would be in flames."

        I'm this close to just outright modding this statement and all others like it flamebait.

        The Bush administration was mired in controversy and saying that Obama is just like him because they both have personal communications devices is just sickeningly stupid.
    • by Orne (144925) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @11:05AM (#26559661) Homepage

      Don't worry, the press will treat this as fairly as they did when it was revealed that Governor Palin of Alaska had an email account for work use, and a separate email account for home use.

  • And... (Score:5, Informative)

    by retech (1228598) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @09:48AM (#26558777)
    RIM gets an unlimited amount of free advertising over this being headline news for a month!
  • by Ender_Stonebender (60900) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @09:49AM (#26558795) Homepage Journal

    So was I. It's a "Secure Mobile Environment Portable Electronic Device", it's made by General Dynamics, and you can read more about it here [gdc4s.com].

  • Idiotic WashPo Story (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cornwallis (1188489) * on Thursday January 22, 2009 @09:51AM (#26558813)
    The Washington Post had a truly idiotic story [washingtonpost.com] today entitled: "Staff Finds White House in the Technological Dark Ages" that seemed (to me) silly. Among the statements: " The team members, accustomed to working on Macintoshes, found computers outfitted with six-year-old versions of Microsoft software." seemed the silliest in that it implies that six-year old software (WinXP?) is "old". The author needs to be told that just because newer is available doesn't mean there is a business sense to use it! From the article: "What does that mean in 21st-century terms? No Facebook to communicate with supporters. No outside e-mail log-ins. No instant messaging. Hard adjustments for a staff that helped sweep Obama to power through, among other things, relentless online social networking." The young'uns should learn there are reasons to make those things unavailable. Like, uhhh, security? Think back to when Clinton took office and his minions were saying the same kinds of things about the WH phone system left by Bush 1...that is used "dial phones" (for christ's sake!)...and everything had to go through the WH switchboard. There was a reason for that as the Clintonites found when they "modernized". Suddenly the WH began leaking info like a sieve when the "new technology" was adopted. Watch for the same thing to happen here! For the record: I didn't vote for Obama or McCain but it seems like this article was another kick at GWB.
    • If they think Windows XP is outdated I hope they never find out what some of the computers are running in a place like the Pentagon. Heck, they probably don't even have GUIs.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by monktus (742861)
        Don't you know the Pentagon has a GUI system down in Cuba? Great Underwater Interrogation!
    • by crmarvin42 (652893) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @10:22AM (#26559089)
      Expect to see this kind of thing for at least the next 100 days. The press likes to make a big deal about this 100 day honeymoon period. They cut the president some slack, and spend their time on other things.

      Over the last 8 years, nothing has given the media more joy than kicking Bush around. I watched MSNBC last night for an hour and every discussion of Obama quickly turned into a burning in effigy of Bush, instead of a commentary on what I wanted to here about. "What is Obama doing, or planning to do during his administration!" I already know what Bush did, and what I think about his actions. I Don't care what Obama's appointies think of them, only what they plan on doing now that they have the power.

      Obama may claim to be above politics, and there is even evidence that he is trying. However, the media and those I've seen on TV who are members of the new Obama administration are not even pretending.
    • by vvaduva (859950)

      The White House is in the "Technological Dark Ages" because the media put it there, with constant subpoenas and FOIA requests trying to dig up dirt on GWB and Cheney.

    • Among the statements: " The team members, accustomed to working on Macintoshes, found computers outfitted with six-year-old versions of Microsoft software." seemed the silliest in that it implies that six-year old software (WinXP?) is "old".

      If you want silly, here's silly:

      During the senate subcomittee hearings on the "lost email" fiasco (broadcast on CSPAN), the White House's "Chief Technologist" prefaced a description of the problems they were having with their new Exchange servers by championing their mov

    • Not having e-mail and telephone lines directly available seems pretty technological dark aged to me. Staff needing to use their own (or their foreign country cell phone) and setting up personal gmail accounts in order to do some work isn't helping white house procedures to keep work safe and according to some presidential's disclosure acts. I think the 6-year old O.S. is indeed a bit out-of-place and doesn't prove the point that is made, but relative seen, it's looks pretty dark.
  • National Security (Score:5, Interesting)

    by javacowboy (222023) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @09:51AM (#26558817)

    To put my comments in their proper context, it's a good idea to disclose that I'm Canadian.

    Having said that, I understand the national security concerns with Obama using a Blackberry. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't all Blackberry traffic pass through RIM's servers in Waterloo, Ontario. Given the fact that such information can be intercepted on foreign soil should be worrisome to a U.S. security agency such as the NSA.

    Other smartphones don't appear to have that problem. Perhaps the NSA can persuade Obama to get an iPhone instead? :D

    • Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't all Blackberry traffic pass through RIM's servers in Waterloo, Ontario.

      All the Pentagon stuff runs off its own servers, as you would expect.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by RabidMonkey (30447)

      assuming that He is connecting to a BES, and not using the BIS service, His traffic is encrypted by a key held by the BES in question and cannot be intercepted.

      I am going to assume that the President isn't using a hotmail (etc) account, so is probably using a BES.

      Just because the server resides in another country doesn't mean the data is more or less exposed. The data would pass through a number of intermediate networks before reaching Canada, which could also be intercepted. Simply crossing a border does

    • by BobMcD (601576)

      I believe slashdot reported a bruhaha over the US spying on India's nuclear weapons program via RIM in exactly this fashion.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Coraon (1080675)
      you can get a BES (blackberry enterprise server) that bypasses that, it can also be setup to encrypt the information between the BES and the BB so that if your on a public carrier (which I'm just guessing here, he wont be) they cant even spy on the nature of the traffic. That being said...I want his PIN # like you wouldn't believe, it would be so cool to add a president to my address book
  • Not good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fermion (181285) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @09:58AM (#26558887) Homepage Journal
    The problem with Bush/Cheney was that they did not understand they were public servants. Rather, Bush still thought as he was in Texas where only locals cared that he ripped off the tax payers through his sweetheart deal on the Texas Rangers. Cheney treated the US government as his personal corporation, refusing to justify his actions to the people through the normal open government policies. Instead they both hid behind equivocation and various fraudulent tactics that we can only assume are commonly taught in an MBA program.

    And now we are told that Obama 'promises' to only use his blackberry for personal communications. I am sure he has every good intention to comply, but, as with Palin, we see that routine use of personal assets while in a government job can lead to a confusion and misuse between the personal asset and government property. One can imagine Palin logged onto her yahoo account simply writing a government note because it was more efficient that logging into the proper account, or thinking that since she was staying in her own home on government business, that the taxpayers should help her pay her mortgage.

    Which is to say that we cannot trust that our officials are always doing the right thing, no matter how moral or trustworthy we think they are. If Obama uses the blackberry, then it still has to fall under the FOIA. If that means we get hundreds of pages of 'thinking of you dear', that is fine. At least we will know that he is not plotting to defraud the American consumers by colluding with oil company executives.

  • Err, what? (Score:3, Funny)

    by TheNinjaroach (878876) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @10:08AM (#26558959)

    On Monday, a government agency 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.

    Sentence goes -- but that isn't so... and someone WILL be -- understanding of this ... still better than me.

  • Update (Score:5, Informative)

    by CompMD (522020) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @10:30AM (#26559183)

    I know its not popular here, but if you RTFA and pay attention to other news sources, you'll find out that the NSA has modified Obama's Blackberry to the point that they are satisfied with it. Good enough for me.

  • by StrifeJester (1326559) on Thursday January 22, 2009 @10:35AM (#26559271)
    If your wife was shooting you a text on your personal phone about waiting for you naked when you got home would want that sent out to a company wide distribution list. Give the man his personal belongings let him worry about using it properly and trust him a bit. I didn't even vote for the guy but this has been one of the stupidest arguments since the initial debates. We deal with this everyday at work, not on a grand scale like the presidency but the same principal, maybe worse we are always so scared of HIPAA around here.
    • by mangu (126918)

      If your wife was shooting you a text on your personal phone about waiting for you naked when you got home

      Not applicable in this case. Obama works at his home [whitehouse.gov] now.

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