by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
barack obama, blackberry, email, president

White House Confirms: President Keeps His Blackberry

from the now-about-the-IM dept

There were some stories yesterday saying that, despite earlier worries he'd be forced to give it up, President Obama was able to keep his Blackberry -- and now the White House has confirmed it. Apparently, some security software has been added, and a very limited number of people will know the email address. Also, it appears that the administration is noting that the Presidential Records Act does allow an exception for strictly personal emails. So, while the President is being told to consider any emails he sends to be public, strictly personal email to friends or family will likely not be kept and revealed. What isn't entirely clear is who determines what is, and what is not, personal. In the meantime, how long until we hear about the first Obama-email-inspired phishing scam? You know someone's going to try to use a fake Obama email address to try to scam people... Now, let's see what they can do about giving instant messaging back to White House staffers.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2009 @ 5:55pm

    Email policies are easy...

    You know, creating rules around email is not that hard, esp. since BIS was designed to work in corporate environments like finance where things are heavily regulated.

    On top of that, BIS is also designed to work with Exchange, which has a ton of internal and addon capability for all kinds of retention profiles.

    The best thing about this, however, is that our Canadian friends will know all the private conversations the US president is having... Brilliant.

    That is, unless the software encrypts/decrypts email from/to BIS...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Canadian Guy, 22 Jan 2009 @ 6:27pm

    World Domination

    Yes. all the private Presidential emails will flow through servers in Canada where teams of eager Canadian hackers will pour over them seeking ways to finally complete what we tried to do in 1812-1814. Almost has been a long wait.

    And to think, every thought we were just friendly folks from the Great White North.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Jan 2009 @ 7:54pm

    Hello, my name is Barack Obama, husband of Michelle Obama and father of two, and I am the President of the United States. I have a business proposal that I believe will be good business for both you and me. I have recently uncovered a sum of 435 Billion USD (four-hundred and thirty-five billion United States Dollars) that until recently belonged to the American public but unfortunately he and all of his family have died in a tragic economic crash. If nobody claims this money soon, the US Government will seize it and give it as bailout money to rich CEOs. This will not be a good thing for either you or me, so I suggest that we prevent it. Since you are an American, you could convince the country that you are entitled to this money, which otherwise would be wasted.
    I agree that you and I will both get half of the money once our little proposal is completed. To begin, you should apply as the next-of-kin of the American public, to get the money. Before I can begin the transfer of the funds, you will need to pay a small registration fee of $50,000. If you want, I will arrange for this to be taken care of through an escrow service. Once you have paid the fee and the registration is secured, the $435 Billion will be released, which we can then split 50/50. Please contact me soon if you want to take up this offer, as the government may seize the funds quickly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Canuck, 22 Jan 2009 @ 7:59pm

    Not a BlackBerry?

    Is it just me or was the device they showed on CNN not even actually a BlackBerry? It seemed to be running a Windows OS and looked nothin' like the BB I know 'n love.

    I believe this is the device they were showing:

    *sh rug* Not a BB but I'm sure RIM isn't concerned about all the free press they're getting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Jan 2009 @ 1:15am

    Depends. What did they put on the Blackberry, and what constitutes "Super Encryption"? Whatever requirement they put on Blackberry communique, you have to assume will be similar IM communique requirement.

    First off, realize that it's be more difficult to get IM in the door than Blackberry, especially if a custom encryption was required... But don't fret. Just grease the wheels, but expect it to take a few months.

    IM packages to consider would be IBM Lotus Sametime, Office Communicator, or Cisco's Unified Communications Product line.

    I'd probably lean more towards the "Cisco" solutions. It'll be easier to get Cisco approved for DoD ITAR/DFARS, or if it needs custom encryption... Chances are Cisco is already approved too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Doe, 23 Jan 2009 @ 4:10am

    I wonder who and how they will decide what is personal and what isn't. So an email to his wife discussing national security matters could be personal or business?

    One more thing; the Blackberry Storm rules!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MacLifer, 23 Jan 2009 @ 6:48am

    Not a Blackberry - Sectra Edge?

    Apparently the Sectra Edge (I beleive it is Edge), just recently released, is the only wireless unit that has been approved by the NSA, as they gave all the design specs (re security) to the manufacturer. It's the only unit with official top-secret level security.

    That would in all likelihood be what the President is now using.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MacLifer, 23 Jan 2009 @ 6:54am

    Sectera Edge

    Sorry, I didn't realize an earlier link in comments pointed to the Edge already. I've seen it multiple times called "Sectra", and only finally saw it on their website for the first time and see it is "Sectera" Edge...

    Thanks for that link, Canuck!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 23 Jan 2009 @ 4:37pm

      Re: Engadget disagrees

      The only *official* statement from the White House clearly called it a Blackberry. It is entirely possible that the White House screwed up, but I'm going with the official statement for now.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Azeem Sajjad, 28 Jan 2009 @ 9:51pm

    First of all, it is to make sure either it is Black Berry of some other device. So far as the phising is concerned it could not be avoided, if President is kept away of doing e-mail. Security of President of US is really a very sensitive issue and to keep secret his/her correspondance to be hacked as big responsibility comes with great power. This is what you have to pay for fame and power.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Cheap Blackberry, 3 Jul 2009 @ 9:58pm

    Good for him

    cus i dont know what Id do without mine

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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