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Obama will have to trade his beloved Blackberry for a less sexy, but very secure device

For the vast majority of Americans, we can chat online, send emails, and browse all of the websites we want without much fear of damaging information leaking to powerful enemies. Our smartphones, Blackberry devies, and email may not be that secure, but few of us are in a position where our personal conversations would matter much to anyone else.

The same can’t be said for the President of the United States. President-elect Barrack Obama is a very prolific email user and has said on several occasions that his Blackberry is his most prized gadget.

While Obama could use his Blackberry freely as a Senator, as President he will have to trade his beloved Blackberry in for a less sexy (and user friendly) NSA-approved mobile phone. The reason Obama will need a significantly more secure mobile device is one of national security. Hackers and eavesdroppers could conceivably gain access to private conversations made with the Blackberry. RIM does offer encryption for the Blackberry, but it isn’t up to the standards needed for classified data.

The NSA does have an approved device that Obama can choose once he takes office. The device is the General Dynamics Sectera Edge. The device is a PDA phone that is certified by the NSA to handle top-secret voice communications along with secret email and web sites.

The handset has modules for Wi-Fi, GSM, and CDMA networks. It is said to look like a chunky version of the Palm Treo 750 with an additional display under the keyboard. Price for the Presidential rated handset is $3,350 and it comes with a two-year warranty. The lighter adapter alone costs $100.

The OS for the Sectera is Windows Mobile and includes mobile versions of Word and more. Exactly how the IE browser, well know to be the target of hackers and malicious users, is secured in the handset is unknown. An additional handset will be available at some time in the future from a firm called L-3 communications that is said to be capable of Presidential use.

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RE: Windows Mobile?
By Lord 666 on 1/14/2009 1:22:27 PM , Rating: 2
Is Microsoft then negligent for not adopting those same modifications by the NSA?

RE: Windows Mobile?
By TomZ on 1/14/2009 3:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
Does the general public have a requirement or a reasonable expectation of high NSA-type security? Nope.

RE: Windows Mobile?
By Lord 666 on 1/14/2009 3:54:44 PM , Rating: 2
1. Microsoft does not put a disclaimer on the outside or inside material with their Operating Systems warning the customer that use of this product could potentially lead to data theft.

2. Microsoft has the means internally and through third parties (NSA) to harden operating systems.

3. Microsoft opts not to incorporate or offer this level of security for consumer (XP/Vista) or commercial (Server 2003/2008) operating systems.

The general public has a reasonable expectation their computer will be as secure as their consumer devices such as network enabled Blu-ray player or TV, but we all know that is not the case.

RE: Windows Mobile?
By semo on 1/14/2009 4:57:21 PM , Rating: 2
you've gone on a tangent that the general public wouldn't care follow you.

read what you wrote and think how it relates to the president of the USA getting a bespoke communication device.

some of his suits probably cost more than that phone. all the work that goes behind the scenes probably costs 1000x more (i'm guessing he didn't just get a 24 month contract with verizon)

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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