Sorry, Mr. President. Please surrender your BlackBerry.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacNut, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #1
    WASHINGTON - Sorry, Mr. President. Please surrender your BlackBerry.

    Those are seven words President-elect Barack Obama is dreading but expecting to hear, friends and advisers say, when he takes office in 65 days.

    For years, like legions of other professionals, Mr. Obama has been all but addicted to his BlackBerry. The device has rarely been far from his side — on most days, it was fastened to his belt — to provide a singular conduit to the outside world as the bubble around him grew tighter and tighter throughout his campaign.

    “How about that?” Mr. Obama replied to a friend’s congratulatory e-mail message on the night of his victory.

    But before he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off. In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A decision has not been made on whether he could become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that seemed doubtful.

    For all the perquisites and power afforded the president, the chief executive of the United States is essentially deprived by law and by culture of some of the very tools that other chief executives depend on to survive and to thrive. Mr. Obama, however, seems intent on pulling the office at least partly into the 21st century on that score; aides said he hopes to have a laptop computer on his desk in the Oval Office, making him the first American president to do so.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/us/politics/16blackberry.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    Should I make a snide comment about providing the MSNBC recast of an NYT article instead of the original? :p

    I read this, this morning... interesting article. Things that have happened over the past several years -- in the Stevens case, in White House handling of issues around Gonzales, etc, suggest we have to be careful. And yet I sympathize... these things are popular with businesspeople in part because they facilitate business. It would be good, in the long run, if we create the technological support to allow our Presidents to use modern tools like these.
     
  3. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    #3
    I am in the process of fixing now.:p

    I originally found it on MSNBC.

    To show how much things are changing, all possible employees of the new WH have to fill out a 9 page questioner asking about their email history.
     
  4. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    If he gets his wish I'm sure he'll have a nice MBA in the oval office.
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    The article did mention that he hopes to be the first President keeping a notebook computer on his desk in the Oval Office. Medvedev has one... why not? :p
     
  6. thomahawk macrumors 6502a

    thomahawk

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Location:
    Osaka, Japan
    #6
    email hacking huh? wow i could understand not using laptops or phones as a president, you dont want sum1 jacking all the important info
     
  7. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    Madison, Alabama
    #7
    I strongly agree. When I was hearing this story over the weekend, I was a bit surprised that they don't have this kind of technology in place yet. (Maybe I shouldn't have been.)
     
  8. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #8
    Why not?

    I mean, the president should be able to browse MR at work. :p

    Seriously, why not have a nice notebook that he can use while at work.

    OWA access is secure enough for normal routine non classified material.

    Basically, most bowser can use OWA access securely.
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
    It's too bad... he could even be the first president to LMCO. :D
     
  10. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    quae tangit perit Trump
    #10
    I think the problem is how RIM deals with the Blackberry. All data goes through a few central servers hosted by RIM, so the problem is two-fold: first, there's the security issue of having the president's correspondence accessible to someone at RIM; and second, there's the problem of keeping the records.

    I'm actually surprised the Fed hasn't demanded its own server system for the Blackberry, especially after the last few outages.
     
  11. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #11
    The government and military already use BlackBerry communication devices.

    Security is not an issue for non-classified information.

    There is not a records problem either as the original messages are retained on the Exchange servers.
     
  12. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    quae tangit perit Trump
    #12
    But, wouldn't you think that presidential communications may be a more particular issue? I'm honestly not sure about this.

    You're right about the Exchange servers, companies can keep records, why shouldn't the White House?
     
  13. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    #13
    So there's no concern about a U.S. senator's information going through RIM's servers? I wonder how many use Blackberries? I would imagine it's quite a few.

    Color me surprised, I thought they would have the Feds would have a more locked down system in place.
     
  14. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #14
    PGP. more importantly, GnuPG.

    Not all that would be needed, but damn sure does help.

    BL.
     
  15. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #15
    My understanding is that there are also security concerns regarding the ability to track wireless devices that send and receive. Theoretically, a president wearing a blackerry would be vulnerable to potential assasains knowing which convoy was fake and which was real by knowing who's blackberry is who's.

    And then there is also the consideration that the GOP will be very aggressive in pursuing and email records they can get their hands on with the intent to embarrass Obama. George W. Bush didn't avoid using email because he didn't know how or was uninterested. He avoided email specifically because he wanted to avoid the possibility that political opponents could use anything in those communications against him.
     
  16. dubhe macrumors 65816

    dubhe

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    #16
    Surely the president can be sensible enough not to send sensitive information by email, you can have all the security in the world but if you don't email anything sensitive then you can't hack it :D

    I work for the UK MoD and we have classified emails, but always on a separate system. All the boring non-classified stuff goes on normal email and believe me nobody would want to read any of that trash!
     
  17. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #17
    -hulugu

    Let's also not forget the NOC for Blackberry email is in another country (Canada)
     
  18. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    キャンプスワ&#
    #18
    If I use OWA from any device, I am basically using the Exchange server and remote accessing my e-mail.

    The Blackberry has this capability:

    So secure communication is possible.

    Yes, this is a vulnerability.

    Which is why he would not be carrying one with him. But using while in the White House, Camp David, or other secure areas, I think would be okay for non-classified use.

    When the president travels, he would use what his communication folks set up for him.

    This is true with any president.

    And Obama will be no different in that regard.

    I am sure that he now sees the world through a different set of glasses after his initial inbriefings from the various agencies.

    Also, the president's word carries a lot more weight than a Senator or Representative. Since all correspondence is considered official, spelling/grammar errors would not be good. ;)

    However, to communicate with his family and close friends, I think that e-mail would be fine.

    Yep. The user needs to know the difference between talking about what's for dinner and deployment of nuclear weapons. :p

    I am sure that President Elect Obama can handle that.

    Yep.

    Sometimes the best way to preclude any issues in a particular area is to create an environment where they can't occur. Keeps it simple that way.

    It will be interesting to see how this develops.
     
  19. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #19

    It's probably not so much what he sends, but they're probably worried about what he receives that he has no control over. Sure, Barack Obama could use his BlackBerry to send e-mails for nothing more than asking his White House staff if they want Pizza Hut or Dominos, but if some other government official thinks it's a wonderful idea to send him the nuclear launch codes via e-mail, then we have a problem ;)
     
  20. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #20
    Or he could just set up email accounts on DNC servers so as to avoid the whole problem in the first place...
     
  21. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #21

    I think the Bush admin did that (except they used RNC servers) and got into some serious trouble for that.
     
  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #22
    Yes, the Bush administration did exactly that. Haven't heard of anyone getting in trouble for it yet, and it sure makes it easy to dump any incriminating evidence before the prosecutor can get ahold of it.

    And even if someone DID get in trouble over it, you can bet it's a hell of a lot less trouble for destroying government records than the trouble they would have been in had those records not been destroyed.

    Seems like a win-win situation... unless the Bush folks get punished for it, which I don't see happening.
     
  23. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #23
    You're exactly right. They did do it, got caught on it, and 'deleted' the mail as it was being subpoenaed.

    BL.
     
  24. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #24
    Rats!!! Discovered again. :mad:
     

Share This Page