Ambinder points out that Barack Obama will get his fancy-shmancy Blackberry:
President Barack Obama is going to get his blackberry.
On Monday, a government agency that the Obama administration — but that is probably the National Security Agency — added to a standard blackberry a super-encryption package…. and Obama WILL be able to use it … still for routine and personal messages.
It’s not clear whether he yet has the device.
With few exceptions, government Blackberries aren’t designed for encryption that protects messages above the “SECRET” status, so it’s not clear whether Obama is getting something new and special. The exception: the Sectera Edge from General Dynamics, which allows for TOP SECRET voice conversations…
The messages, like other White House communications, will kept from the public for the duration of his presidency, if not longer.
We probably ought to correct Ambinder’s last paragraph; this is what he meant:
The messages, like other White House communications, will kept from the public for the duration of his presidency, if not longer, unless lawsuits are filed seeking their disclosure.
That said, it’s interesting that George Bush — the addictive personality, the hothead, the one who held grudges, the one who couldn’t separate the personal from the political — he said goodbye to E-mail before the start of his presidency. If you read it, it sounds almost… disciplined. And it might be a better approach then blowing nearly $3,500 on a cell phone:
The price is $3,350 with a two-year warranty, a princely sum that’s reflected in the Pentagon-worthy price tags for accessories: a simple adapter for a lighter plug costs $100. (Never again should you complain about how much your civilian analogue costs.)
Ambinder mentions that Obama’s team also looked into having the DNC buy Blackberries for senior staff, strictly for political use. They dropped that idea, presumably deciding that the ink was too fresh on their outraged screeds about Karl Rove doing precisely that.
At least the Democrats have some shame.