President Obama will get to keep his BlackBerry -- or some kind of smartphone -- after all.
Obama had one attached to his hip, if not his ear, through the entire campaign, and resisted calls to hand it over because of security and espionage concerns. “I’m still clinging to my BlackBerry. They’re going to pry it out of my hands," Obama told CNBC this month.
Now, the Secret Service and the National Security Agency have figured out a way so the president doesn't have to give it up, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs confirmed to reporters today.
"He believes it's a way to keep in touch with folks" and not get stuck "in the bubble," said Gibbs, who said he has received messages from Obama that range from strictly business to complaints about how his football team performed.
Gibbs told reporters today that the BlackBerry will be configured in a way that its use would be limited and security enhanced.
Asked whether the messages will be made public, he said the "presumption" is that they are all subject to the Presidential Records Act, which he noted includes an exception for strictly personal messages.
The Atlantic magazine reported on its website that Obama's BlackBerry could get top-secret encryption to prevent his personal messages from being seen.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.