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Summary:

It looks like the National Security Agency added some security software to a BlackBerry phone to satisfy President Barack Obama’s need for his Research in Motion smartphone. This means Obama can continue emailing routine and personal messages that will become part of the public record. However, […]

It looks like the National Security Agency added some security software to a BlackBerry phone to satisfy President Barack Obama’s need for his Research in Motion smartphone. This means Obama can continue emailing routine and personal messages that will become part of the public record. However, some of the more “fun” functions of a smartphone, such as IM and those requiring GPS functionality, won’t be available for his use. So far no data channels appear to be secure enough for Top Secret emails.

An alternative device that was speculated to be the replacement for Obama’s BlackBerry is the Sectera Edge, designed by L3 and General Dynamics to act as a classified-information-friendly replacement for a BlackBerry. However, it only allows for classified voice calls on any network and data while on a classified network. Check it out:

edge_parts_2008041

  1. Does everyone who talks/messages to Obama have to run the encryption also?

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  2. > January 22nd, 2009 7:31 PM PT Scarhawk said:
    >
    > Does everyone who talks/messages to Obama have to run the
    > encryption also?

    Yes, encryption is two way. Each party needs a private and public “key”. The private key resides on BO’s smartphone, and he must avail his public key to whomever he will correspond with securely. The correspondent must also avail their public key to BO.

    If BO must send an encrypted e-mail to Michelle Obama (MO), BO’s phone must have MO’s public key. The e-mail is then encrypted using MO’s public key, and once MO receives that email on her phone, she uses the Private Key to decrypt that email.

    hope its clear.
    eb

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  3. Pretty sure he is getting a version of the General Dynamics device, which is a nice compromise solution.

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  4. see y’all on twitter – @barackberry

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  5. Stacey Higginbotham Friday, January 23, 2009

    Scarhawk, only a limited number of people are actually able to email with Obama through his “secure” BlackBerry. As for the details of encryption, I’ll have to open that question to our readers as my knowledge of that is limited to dimestore spy novels.

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  6. Their probably adding a second layer of encryption on top of the current encryption that BES provides. All blackberry data running via their BES software is already encrypted using high level encryption(AES) but in this case he is just communicating with a small circle of users so we are to assume their all using devices that have been “tweaked” to give them the same high level of encryption.

    The only other option was that GD device but at 3500 bucks a pop for each member of his inner circle (windows mobile too…) I think their still going with a modified BB device.

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  7. [...] GigaOM gives us details on the BarackBerry. [...]

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  8. :O Hopefully this will lead to better development of internet security in general…notice how many amazing discoveries come out of government?

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  9. [...] Photo credit [...]

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