back to article Obama gets to keep his BlackBerry

President Obama can keep his BlackBerry, making him the first sitting president to use email. Barack Obama has resisted calls to relinquish his beloved handheld despite concerns over personal security, espionage, and presidential record-keeping. "He has a BlackBerry through a compromise that allows him to stay in touch with …

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  1. Andy Barber
    Joke

    Pants

    Taylor made pants?

    > Lyndon Johnson informing his tailor about how he wants his pants fitted in relation to his "bunghole."

    Oh sorry you mean 'trousers!'

    "bunghole" see the confusion!?

  2. mittfh
    Boffin

    Super Encryption Package

    LOL! Let's hope it's better than DES, and doesn't have a backdoor like Clipper Chip...

    Why bother developing your own when there are plenty of decent, virtually unbreakable algorithms already on the loose...sounds like they're worried AES isn't good enough, so how about something like RC5-72 - Distributed.net have failed to crack a ciphertext encrypted with RC5-72, despite throwing computing power at it for years...

  3. Ed

    So...

    Will all the people he communicates with have the same super-encryption package? Otherwise, it's just encrypting the contents of the phone, which quite honestly is rather pointless. He's hardly likely to be mugged...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    US Patriot ?

    The Blackberry is from RIM, a Canadian company.

    If Obama was a patriot, he'd use the Apple iPhone.

    He'll be driving around in a BMW next...

  5. Walter Brown
    Coat

    Personal Security Device

    On top of keeping the president on top of current affairs and in touch with white house staffers, the device will also double as a personal security device used to ward off would be attackers should the president get in to trouble. Some special training is required to properly and effectively use a Blackberry for self defense, presidential aids have invited Naomi Campbell to the white house to provide advanced smackberry training for the president.

  6. Hud Dunlap
    Paris Hilton

    Superencryption?

    Yeah, The Japanese and the Germans had the same thing during WWII.

    Paris, because she knows about hacked e-mail accounts.

  7. Patrick
    Linux

    Theres your problem right there Obama

    Obama, your problem is you bought a BLACKBERRY. If you bought a WHITEBERRY you would not have the same problem.

    In fact, you should have just gone all white with a snazzy new iPhone in white. Oh wait, you just found out you and your team ran smack up against the PCtards in the whitehouse who want you to use old Windows computers, Office 2003 and Microsoft Exchange. Why because of security, you know, have to keep all records of communications and such. Of course sir, I know that this security teams PCtard built solution conveniently lost over 5 million emails of the Bush administration. Yes, its a feature of Exchange and Outlook.

    I don't think you understand sir, your macs may work, you might be the hip go to team for bailing out the world. But you will just have to put them all away, along with your gmail accounts and facebook access to get the word out to your supporters. Welcome to reality sir, ruled by PCtards who define their own standard, build their own broken systems from the core up and then expect the only way to make it work is to force you all to use it.

    Deal with it.

  8. Tim

    Track the president's location?

    Like the convoy of 20 armoured vehicles with flashing lights isnt enough to give it away?

    "Have you found the president?"

    "Yes, Mr Bin Ladin sir, We have located him via his blackberry. He is at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue and has been there all day!"

    "Good work Cecil, have a camel"

  9. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    Hey, honey, I got an e-mail from the President!

    "That's nice - what does it say?"

    "I don't know - it's super encrypted."

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Bush and Clinton

    "Neither George W. Bush nor Bill Clinton used email during their presidencies, although Bush has claimed he used email before becoming president"

    Whereas had the result been different, another would have claimed he invented the Internet before becoming president.

  11. Ash

    Not scared of being subpoenaed?

    I don't know whether to be elated that the guy is an angel, or cautious that he's lackadaisical with personal security...

    Time will tell.

  12. Gordon Pryra

    although Bush has claimed he used email before becoming president

    he also claimed he ran a successfull oil company for his daddy, and that he could write with joined up letters and everything..........

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Some Tech clue in the white house!

    If i was president and i wanted to keep using my blackberry i too would think, hmm who do i know that can secure this for me.... the NSA !

    I'm not blowing smoke up his 'bunghole' but it is nice to see a guy who seems to have some common sense and at least some clue about technology.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Well done that man

    Of course he can't possibly match up to all the expectations he's generated, but this is a positive sign. He's bent the security obsessives to his will and left himself one channel that offers the possibility of conversing with normal people, and not just the yes-men, military hawks and conspiracy theorists he'll inevitably have around him in years to come. Keeping some link with reality must be one of the biggest challenges of being POTUS and at least he's tried to give himself a chance of doing so.

  15. Frank

    To Defeat Location Finding etc. ?

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong (of course you will) but I believe that the 'super-encryption' is between the President's Blackberry and the RIM server, where a super-decryption device will be located. Hence, after his e-mail or txt message 'lands' at RIM, it will be treated normally.

    This will prevent terrorists or journalists or other snoopy people from using a receiver/locator and sniffer software to detect keywords being transmitted and identifying the location (keywords such as 'Hi Michelle, I'll be late back at the White House, I'm having a drink with the guys).

    Because he'll be able to receive e-mail and txt from his 'ordinary' friends, people will be able to tell him things like 'I don't know what the Treasury are telling you but the economy is still a pile of poo out here'. This can only be a good thing.

  16. Paul

    No...

    @ Patrick. Realy no. Just no. Stop trolling, or go off and learn somthing.

    @ Tim. As far as I know its a bit more complex than that. They tend to run multipul routs to places and noone knows which convoy he is in. Even Airforce one is no longer always the flight the presedent is on. They will fly mulitpul plains or choppers, and only one in the flight will use Airforce one, normaly a random one.

  17. Jo

    Time to rename it?

    Should that not now be renamed an Afro-American-Berry?

  18. andy gibson

    Bush's pre presidential email:

    to: president@foxtvnetwork.com

    subject: election

    Dear pal of my dads, it looks like I'm gonna lose the election to Al Gore. Please fix it for me. To make sure this email doesn't get out I'll delete it and never use my mail account again.

    Regards, George W Bush

  19. Rodrigo Rollan
    Go

    @AC 23:46 GMT

    these days, hardly any Hardware manufacturing company can call itself 100% American... You see, every single component is manufactured and assembled in an Asian country (China, korea, etc). So good luck in finding your "All American, patriotic, let my red, blue and white" phone....

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Anyone else think of Pokémon?

    Obama used BlackBerry - it's super encrypted!

    Just me?

    Coat.

  21. Grant
    Go

    @US Patriot ?

    Shhh, don't tell Americans Canada in not part of the US, RIM is going to a have tough enough time already this year.

    Yes the current President knows it's not but your averageAmerican is not sure.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Rodrigo Rollan

    I agree, most manufacturing and components are from abroad.

    However, When Apple make a profit, the US government get corporation tax.

    When RIM make profit, the Canadian government get taxes...

    When Accenture make profit, no one gets taxes because they are based in a tax haven.

    Hence buying Apple is patriotic compared to RIM.

  23. Scott K

    Us patriot

    Not noticed the fact the iphone and ipod boxes say made in china on them then?

    Good on Obama, erm sir you can't have email. Get bent I need my Blackberry and I'm the boss

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Designed in USA, made in China

    You should read the contents and writing on your iPhone box better...

  25. Kanhef
    Boffin

    encryption

    Could just be RSA with a 1024-bit (or more) key. Any encryption can be broken with enough processing power, of course, but it would take so long it doesn't matter. Since his communication will be limited to a small, fixed group of people, it wouldn't be hard to make them use some sort of encryption on their emails. Have the email address he gives them route to a computer that checks for encryption before forwarding to the address his Blackberry actually uses to enforce the policy.

    I can think of three reasons he's doing this:

    1. He believes in open government so much (see other recent articles) that he's willing to have his communications become public.

    2. He doesn't plan on writing anything he wouldn't want to have see the light of day.

    3. He's just really, really addicted to it (far more than to his cigarettes).

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @US Patriot

    "Good on Obama, erm sir you can't have email. Get bent I need my Blackberry and I'm the boss"

    OK, how about:

    "We seriously don't advise an invasion of Iran sir". "Get bent I'm the Commander in Chief and I'm the boss so we are going to invade"

    I actually think he's very clever, takes advice but challenges - hence the special encryption:

    "Weak security ? Why are we paying the NSA billions of dollars if they can't secure my email ? Sort it or I cut the funding."

  27. pctechxp
    Paris Hilton

    Blackberry take up to soar amongst US residents

    I hear Paris has expressed an interest as its got to be more secure than a sidekick.

    @AC Re: Bush and Clinton - am I the only one that doesn't get the joke?

  28. skeptical i
    Thumb Up

    pure marketing gold

    RIM marketing and PR flacks raptured all over themselves when this news broke, much to the consternation of the night cleaning crew.

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