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A New Era of Presidential Security: The President and His BlackBerry
March/April 2009 (vol. 7 no. 2)
pp. 67-70
John Harauz, Jonic Systems Engineering
Lori M. Kaufman, BAE Systems IT
Americans are addicted to their personal digital assistants (PDAs), and President Barack Obama is no exception. Throughout the primaries and the presidential campaign, Obama was often seen using his BlackBerry. Once he won the election, great debate ensued as to whether he would be allowed to continue using it once in office. Initially, the secret service determined that his BlackBerry did not provide the requisite security required for its continued use. Of special concern was the potential that attackers could gain access to government work. Although Obama persuaded his security staff to let him keep using his BlackBerry (or a BlackBerry-like handheld device), it is not clear how, exactly, the device was modified to ensure extra security.

1. "Research in Motion Reports Third Quarter Results for Fiscal 2009," RIM news release, 18 Dec. 2008; www.rim.com/investors/pdfQ3F09_MDA_FS_PR.pdf .
2. B. Leach, "Obama's New Blackberry: Speculation Mounts over Details of President's Smartphone," Telegraph.co.uk,25 Jan. 2009; www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/ usa/barackobama/4340218Obamas-new-Blackberry-Speculation-mounts-over-details-of-Presidents-smartphone.html .
3. "Obama BlackBerry to Get Enhanced Security So He Can Keep It," Political Notebook, Boston Globe,23 Jan. 2009; www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2009/ 01/23obama_blackberry_to_get_enhanced_security_so_he_can_keep_it /.
4. A. LaVallee, "Obama's Black-Ops BlackBerry," The Wall Street J. Online,23 Jan. 2009; http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2009/01/23obamas-black-ops-blackberry /.

Index Terms:
presidential BlackBerry, security, smart phones, personal digital assistants, pda, it all depends, Barack Obama, BlackBerry, President of the United States
Citation:
John Harauz, Lori M. Kaufman, "A New Era of Presidential Security: The President and His BlackBerry," IEEE Security & Privacy, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 67-70, March-April 2009, doi:10.1109/MSP.2009.29
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