I guess if there is one thing that put the fear in Barack Obama, it was the very real threat of having to give up the use of his Blackberry, something he never let out of his sight. Pres. Obama is a self-confessed Blackberry lover! Time and again during his campaign, he made mention about how he loved this device and how he dreaded having to give it up.
The Secret Service probably never had to deal with this problem with past US Presidents as I never saw any of them on TV handle a cellphone, unlike Obama who is often caught on print media and on TV holding his Blackberry. But what for us mere citizens are great features (like GPS) is a nightmare for Pres. Obama’s security who fear that this very feature will give away his location. Text messages on the Blackberry do not have the super encryption features needed to protect his messages designated as TOP SECRET.
Well, I caught CNN’s telecast last night and it looks like Pres. Obama may finally get his wish. He may have to give up his current Blackberry as it is not secure enough — and possibly get this one from General Dynamics. Meet the Sectera Edge now dubbed by some as the BarackBerry!
(courtesy of IntoMobile's blog site)
This phone is LOADED! And this is not something you can buy off the counter, either. See those 2 buttons at the bottom near the LCD screen? The RED button puts you on TOP SECRET mode when it is pressed. In its website, General Dynamics, the maker of Sectera Edge, states that “The Sectéra® Edge™ smartphone converges secure wireless voice and data by combining the functionality of a wireless phone and PDA — all in one easy-to-use handheld device. Developed for the National Security Agency’s Secure Mobile Environment Portable Electronic Device (SME PED) program, the Sectéra Edge is certified to protect wireless voice communications classified Top Secret and below as well as access e-mail and websites classified Secret and below.”
This phone also carries a hefty $3,350 tag price. A far cry from the usual mobile phones.
You can also read more technical details about this phone HERE.
It will also be very interesting to learn more about how the White House will be made over and wired for technology-related features that no other President in the past ever had to use. I burst out laughing when the CNN newscasters made reference to the Stone Age technology at the White House as “going from an Xbox to an Atari”.
This Presidency will definitely be a different one. With the President clearly in his elements using technology, he makes himself more accessible to the world in a sense (which makes his vision of a transparent administration easier to attain). It will also be a paradigm shift for many around him (his White House staff, security, team) who may not be as technologically savvy as he is but will need to get themselves updated in order to ensure the President is fully secured at all times. Catch-up time, guys!