Tech savy Obama to use BlackBerry as president

Obama

Barack Obama, who is famous for his love of his BlackBerry, could become the first US President to use email after reports suggested he may be in line for a new spy-proof smartphone.

Concerns about security and legal issues have forced his close aides and government agents to delay a decision on whether the 44th president would be able to use his BlackBerry or a similar device while in office, the 'Guardian' newspaper reported on Thursday.

The report in the British daily suggested that the tech-savy President, who was sworn in on Tuesday, may be in the final stages of getting his hands on a BlackBerry with special encryption.

A limited number of smartphones are sanctioned for top secret government use among them the Sectera Edge by Virginia-based General Dynamics. The handset is a heavy-duty highly secure mobile and has been certified by the National Security Agency, it reported.

According to blogger Marc Ambinder in the Atlantic, a government agency has provided the 47-year-old president with a special, highly encrypted mobile which would take care of security considerations.

"Obama will be able to use it still for routine and personal messages," he wrote, adding that "It's not clear whether he yet has the device".

Traditionally, American presidents have kept away from using hi-tech communications such as email and mobile phones for a variety of reasons - including security and possible interception from foreign powers.

Concerns linked to the 'Presidential Records Act of 1978', which requires that documents retained by the White House must be released to the public, may be another reason or the most powerful man on earth shying away from using any personal hi-tech communications.

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