Obama not allowed to use an iPhone!

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Steve-Jobs, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. Steve-Jobs macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2010
  2. Shotgun OS macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2006
    Probably because Blackberry usage is capsizing. Everyone has iPhones and Android phones, no one would be caught dead going near a Blackberry.

    Joking aside, I think your answer is right in the article.

    "Apple’s iPhone has yet to be certified as secure for government and military use by White House staff, meaning that the president and his staff are restricted from using Apple’s smartphone."

    It's not that it's not secure, it's just that it's not certified.
  3. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    First and foremost: Obama's "Blackberry" is not configured in the same way as a Blackberry you can buy at an AT&T/Verizon/T-Mobile. It's running specific software packages and configuration policies. It runs SecurVoice and probably quite a few other pieces of software we're not aware of.

    "Not Secure Enough" simply means that whoever is running the IT show hasn't evaluated the device, or isn't bothered to develop the software and encryption modules for it to their satisfaction.

    But bottom line: there's no way any phone off the street, Blackberry or not, will be "secure enough" without modifications. The DoD already knows Blackberry well, so it makes sense that they would lean hard to make sure the President sticks to that.
  4. jrswizzle macrumors 603


    Aug 23, 2012
    McKinney, TX
    Just wanted to say - big fan of your signature line. And very informative post.

  5. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Nov 7, 2007
    New Sanfrakota
    They even took his personal blackberry away from him when he started his term.
  6. Idefix macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2012
    Remember the "Security through obscurity" argument for Mac/Apple security? Same thing (not really, but it sounds wonderfully snarky.)

    Could it be that the White House needs something that the NSA can't get into? Maybe the White House should give a properly configured Blackberry to Germany's Merkel? That's totally better than giving Merkel bland assurances that "we're not tapping your phone, and if we did, we really didn't know that we were tapping your phone, and we won't do it again until next time."

    Oh wait: if the White House did give Merkel a properly configured Blackberry, that would be a dead giveaway!

    Anyway, it's not like Obama uses his phone to call for takeout.
  7. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    We were just discussing secure phones the other day:


    Actually, the German Chancellor now uses a Blackberry Z10 equipped with a microSD encryption processor card to handle secure communications. It is one of a few phones approved by the German security services. Another is a Samsung S3 with a custom kernel. (see info in link above)
  8. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    Welcome to 2008, this is and has been a known fact for a while.
  9. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    That's the OTHER issue: even with all the security on his phone, the number of contacts the President's is allowed to communicate with on that phone can be counted on a person's fingers. The security of the most secure smartphone ever can be rendered totally useless the moment any voice call, SMS, e-mail or other data leaves that phone onto any less-secure device or network. So, he can really only "securely" talk to other, like-configured devices... and there aren't a whole lot of 'em out there.

    This is a "good to know, I guess" type of story, but nothing about Obama's smartphone and its security translates to the average user. None of our phones are that secure. And it definitely doesn't mean that people should run out and buy a Blackberry and ditch their iPhone because one is supposedly more secure than the other.


    Actually, the crypto software on Obama's phone is developed by the NSA. the NSA knows its tricks better than anyone, and apparently knows everyone else's tricks, too. Who better to secure the President's smartphone?

    Besides... if anyone thinks the White House is a victim in all that the NSA does is fooling themselves. If the past two administrations didn't order a lot of this surveillance (pfft!), they certainly at least knew about it.
  10. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
  11. mjt57 macrumors regular


    Aug 16, 2013
    South Eastern Australia
    As an outsider looking in (Australian) why would the president need a phone, anyway? Doesn't he have staff through which calls are made and received (and vetted)?
  12. JackieInCo Suspended

    Jul 18, 2013
    He says in the article that he still uses an iPad.
  13. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    Doesn't really matter. Anything the president uses to communicate will be protected in ways we can't even imagine.
  14. Troneas macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2011
    At the alternatives section.
    perhaps he should pressure for an htc one? or a nexus 5?
  15. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    If it hasn't been certified yet then it's not secure enough.

    Do you think this is the IT department at your work and they put this on the back burner?

    He's using the most secure phone with the most secure software in the most secure way that is possible with modern technology. It's the presidents security we are talking about, there are thousands of people dedicated to doing just that.
  16. kdarling, Dec 5, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2013

    kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    True, there's staff for that :)

    However, I thought he carried two Blackberrys. One is the secure one for talking / mailing with others in the government with similar equipped devices; the other is a stock BB so he call his kids on their iPhones.

    Unless they merged the two functions in one device. But normally a very secure VoIP phone is prevented from making regular cell calls or sending regular texts at all, in order to ensure that there's no way the user can mistakenly use an insecure mode (or that info can be stolen).
  17. jca24 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 28, 2010
    There is no way bambam uses a "stock" bb to call anyone! Everything he uses is not "stock"

  18. wxman2003 Suspended

    Apr 12, 2011
    No, he can't use an iPhone or any other mobile phone because the government is broke. It failed a credit check by all the carriers. :D
  19. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Even the most powerful man in the world wants to be everyday Joe now and then.
  20. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    The article is light on details as expected. Here's my $.02:

    Obama is a huge BlackBerry fan. So it's less "he can't have an iPhone" and more "he wants a BlackBerry". Considering the hoops we jump through at work when a C level executive wants something, I'm sure that if in 2009 (or now) Mr. POTUS said he wanted an iPhone it would happen.

    Also, the statement “I am not allowed, for security reasons, to have an iPhone,” Obama quipped (emphasis mine) cannot be taken at face value. It doesn't mean anything without knowing what the reasons are. It doesn't inherently mean the iPhone is less secure, it simply means they picked BlackBerry. Who knows? <puts on tin foil hat> As others have already mentioned maybe the iPhone is too secure to do something they can do more easily on the BlackBerry. Maybe something as simple as a third party app.
  21. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    MOD NOTE: Moved to PRSI as the topic can easily turn political and most of the participants are PRSI eligible.

  22. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    I'm guessing it's a combination of this and I don't see Apple really wanting to go and let the NSA make a modified version of iOS for Obama to use.
  23. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
    Or maybe, the NSA has already developed ways to exploit Apple, Android, and Windows smart phones and they realize if the "good guys" can do it it's likely that the "bad guys" could do the same.

    Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of cyberspace?
  24. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2013
    iStuff is still going through IA last I heard..
  25. EvilQueen macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2013
    In my own world
    I think this is correct but I would also ask why is BB certified and not iPhone?

Share This Page