January 22nd, 2009
06:45 AM ET
8 years ago

Obama 'to get spy-proof smartphone'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/22/obama.blackberry/art.obamabb.gi.jpg caption="Obama was a self-confessed BlackBerry addict during his White House campaign."]
(CNN) - Self-confessed BlackBerry addict Barack Obama may not have to kick the thumbing habit after all, despite the concerns of a notoriously technophobic White House.

The new U.S. president was often seen hunched over the mobile e-mail device during his election campaign and even featured at No. 2 on one celebrity Web site's list of obsessive BlackBerry users.

But, like previous Oval Office incumbents, Obama had been expected to take a vow of technological celibacy following his inaugural oath on Tuesday, despite telling CNBC in an interview that security officials would have to "pry it out of my hands." He protests that a mobile device would help him stay in touch with the real world.

E-mail has long been treated with suspicion by the Secret Service because of fears it could be hacked into by foreign espionage agencies, or that sensitive information could reach the public domain via a single mis-stroke of the "send" key.

President George W. Bush was forced to give up using e-mail when he took charge, while President Bill Clinton sent just two e-mails during his administration - one to test that the system worked and the second to veteran astronaut John Glenn before his trip into space in 1998.

There are also concerns that mobile devices such as BlackBerries, which contain built in GPS technology, could be hacked into, revealing the president's location within a few feet.

Full story

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Matt

    LOL @ all you GOPer minions who tried to turn his desire for a Blackberry-like device into some giant issue about his ability to keep the country secure. .

    January 22, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Anyone who has one, loves their crackberry. And Prez Obama is no different. At least, he wants to be in contact with those he needs to be without delay.

    So if it's been properly encrypted and all the necessary safeguards are in place he should have it. This is after all the 21st century and the need to be in communication is paramount.

    What will Faux Nooz have to say about this? Probably nothing good as usual.

    January 22, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  3. Chester Davis

    I feel that it is great for him to keep his BB. He feels that he is staying in touch with the country more. It is another tool for him to see, hear what the country is thinking. Beside if he make a mistake or we don't agree he will know about it much faster then what the news would say.

    January 22, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |

    who cares

    January 22, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. LIP

    Good luck.
    if the largest credit card holder (Hartland) can't keep the Eastern European hackers out of their system and 200,000,000 credit cards are compromised since maybe last October, how the heck is Obama going to have a spy free handheld?
    This will be the biggest challange ever that every hacker will see as a challange to beat.

    January 22, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. Constance Kelley

    I don't understand! The same could happen for those in President Obama's party carrying their personal Blackbery/Cell Phone devices. Are they planning on turning off their GPS option also? The SmartPhone is a great move and is more secure. It is a blessing to have a tech savy President in this present time! Maybe we can upgrade our "security" options to meet it.

    January 22, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. Mickie

    Oh please – Bush was not computer savvy to begin with and please don't compare Pres. Obama to him. If hackers can hack into the CIA and NASA computers, they will be able to get information whether Pres. Obama has a blackberry or not. No electronic equipment is hack proof.

    January 22, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  8. Virginia

    So prez, you got your way–an indication of things to come, I suppose.....

    January 22, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  9. BB

    Good – if our technology isn't good enough to protect his conversations, then we need to get some brains working on it. And not Indian or Chinese brains.

    January 22, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Addiction

    Addiction to anything, especially nicotine, is bad.

    January 22, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. Sharon

    I hope that President Obama will be able to "stay in touch with the real world." George Bush certainly didn't.

    January 22, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |