Cure for BlackBerry Addiction... Become President?!!

Obama Forced to Give up his BlackBerry?!
By Kevin Michaluk on 15 Nov 2008 10:17 pm EST

It seems President Elect Obama may be forced to go cold turkey on his BlackBerry addiction when he gets sworn in to office. The New York Times ran an article today all about the situation crisis at hand....

For years, like legions of other professionals, Mr. Obama has been all but addicted to his BlackBerry. The device has rarely been far from his side - on most days, it was fastened to his belt - to provide a singular conduit to the outside world as the bubble around him grew tighter and tighter throughout his campaign.

But before he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off. In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A decision has not been made on whether he could become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that seemed doubtful.

D'oh!!! Now that sucks. Do you think you could just give up your BlackBerry? Read the full story here and drop your feelings about this on the comments. I'm thinking maybe it's time the Presidential Records Act get an update to take BlackBerry users into account :-)

Giving up the BlackBerry is NOT an easy thing to do. Remember the Forbe's Managing Editor who was reduced to tears when he attempted to give up his BlackBerry for just a week?! [ You can watch that video after the jump for a reminder. ] If seven days without the CrackBerry can have that sort of an impact on a person, just imagine what four full years would be like.

Thanks to everyone (like FIFTY of you) who sent this in! And PLEASE keep the comments clean.

Forbes Editor Can't Live Without His BlackBerry for a Week.

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

Cure for BlackBerry Addiction... Become President?!!


He bought the presidency, so why can't he do what he wants... nice to know he won't have a BB on his side as the country goes down in flames...

George Bush and 6 years of republican congress is what got us to this point. Last I checked it was Bush who was in office. In four years our economy is going to be booming. Just watch.

This is a phone forum, so i'll quickly correct you and get back on topic... The democrats have had the senate and house for the last two years.... they make the laws, president signs them... also, it was Clinton's fault on the houseing crisis. It was his presidency that pushed for lesser qualified applicants to recieve house loans, and also it was his term when WMDs came up... Now i'm not much of a free trade advicate, but please get things straight...change is coming, we'll just see who like the change...if you feel the need to continue this, please IM me so it stays off the main boards.

I think its hysterical that the democrats and Clinton could be blamed for this. Funny you don't mention Regan here since he was the one that actually started it. Where was Bush and the republicans five years ago when most of this was going on? There was absolutely no oversight and regulation during Bush's term. We have the worst unemployment since 1994. If GM goes bankrupt its going to go from 6.5% to 10% practically overnight. The fact is this wasn't just a victory, it was a democratic movement. Republicans wont get into the white house for at least 12 or 16 years. I'm proud that somebody with their head on their shoulders is finally in the white house. America spoke. Things are finally going to turn around.

out of respect for other posters, please IM me any of your comments. I am an independant I hold no one of any party will high marks right about now. So if you really want to get in to a political who did what, by all means my good man, keep it between us, and let the forum for phone usage.

Kevin said to keep the comments clean. We were just having a political debate. There was nothing inappropriate about our exchange. Anyways, I agree its a phone forum so I will stop posting politics. As for the article, I had no idea a president wasn't allowed to have his own personal email address?

I posted below something similar about this, but it seems that the NSA is more concerned about not so much IF the Prez gets to communicate, but controlling that communication and the platform(s) it uses. For instance you can e-mail the President all day long, but each e-mail is thoroughly examined and most often auto-responded to (if a response is even warranted).

Very refreshing and conforting that you should be such a sore loser and wish your (yes! YOUR) new president ill will. Without getting into the politics you should take a page out the McCain concession speech and realize that we are all in it together and we need to all work together now to get ourselves out of this mess .... Show some class already!

P.S. i'll take a Magna Cum Laude harvard graduate anytime over an ex-druggie ex-alcoholic C average yale graduate

P.S.S. To stay on topic I'll say that he'll probably have a hard time giving up his BB. It's definitely time for the Act to get updated

Oh geez, just stop. Everyone has something nasty to say about the guy (or gal) they didn't vote for. It's human nature, it won't stop and everyone is guilty of it.

As for changing laws due to addiction, just about every Prez would have had at least ONE law changed. :P

Same should go for your kind of comments too. This is a post made in jest, leave it at that and calm down. Not everyone agrees with Obama being President. Deal with it.

What do you mean? people do come here to read insightful, relevant opinions and the interesting fact that he actually considers it his "worst habit" completely fits the bill

i just think it's ridiculous when people see a post about Obama and automatically take it as a chance to tell the world how much they hate him, same goes for those ragging on Bush, this isn't the place

I dunno if the records act can actually be considered part of it. It's still being fed by some e-mail account (can't have push without it being pulled from somewhere, unless there's a new blackhole e-mail we don't know about) and it really shouldn't be hard to get the records from that.

Security, on the other hand, would likely be a concern considering India supposedly broke RIM's encryption and is able to read messages of users there. I'd really hate to have a President's e-mails being BCC'ed by anyone with the technology.

Perhaps a worse scenario would be a hack into the Prez's BB and then using that to send false or fake e-mails or messages to him that would otherwise seem genuine from trusted sources (or cab members).

I think one of the NSA's major concerns here would be controlling the communication access TO the president.

He won't give it up. I'm sure Mrs. Obama has a Blackberry, and her conversations aren't privy to the public scrutiny, so he'll just get himself one under her name and things will be just peachy.
I have a hard enough time giving mine up for the 8 hours I spend sleeping a day. 4 years???? No way.

Since this fact was already public knowledge, it made the ad about McCain simply ridiculous beyond the fact of McCain's physical abilities, and geared toward the ignorant, as most of them were. Of course he won't be emailing, he hates to be sued like anybody(although as a lawyer, he didn't mind being the su'er).

I am not a die hard Obama supporter (ha, not a die hard supporter for ANY politician) but that is a really good photograph. Whoever took it captured quite a bit. To me it is very relaxing with the lighting and the mood set with the colors, but at the same time stress and work are emphasized through Obama's use of the BB and the expression on the other gentleman.

It wasn't long ago when you either saw photographs of Presidents (and President-elects) all business-like and professional, or in a scandalous demeanor. This image however presents a sense of humbleness while refusing to belittle, if that makes any sense.

No on topic, I think the President-elect might not have THAT hard of a time without his BB considering how busy he will most likely be. That coupled with the sheer fact that people are essentially replacing the tasks his BB once accomplished it will most likely be the least of his worries.

Well looks like the original image was replaced with the original one of Obama with BB and Biden (obviously hiding an N92). Ah well, must have been some copyright issues there...

Email by itself is one of the most insecure modes of communication. Encrypted emails are more secure, but still not secure enough. I have had to go through six consecutive passwords and authorizations just to check and unclassified email, I can only imagine the classified ones. As much as you may think your BB can do anything, it is not capable of securing communication enough to allow someone such as the president to use it as a media of communicating.

I've gotten a chuckle out of all the criticism of leaders who are "out of touch" because they're not using the latest and greatest technology. People mocked Bush for being behind on the development of the Internet. McCain was ridiculed for not using e-mail. More often than not, there are real-world reasons for these type of restrictions, like, oh, national security and war wounds.

President-Elect Obama will not be made fun of for not using a BlackBerry, and that's as it should be. It's just a shame that when it's the other guys, everyone feels free to scorn them for it.

There are corporate programs that logs all e-mails so why can't they just use that to keep track of them? And encryption isn't a huge deal because all of the presidents e-mails are subject to public view so if someone hacked his blackberry it would be pointless. I highly doubt he would be emailing super top secret information via blackberry -- or e-mail at all for that matter

I like how he doesn't have an iphone though... I think someone should be generous enough to update him BB though!

As for all the political junk, he didn't "buy" the presidency, everyone who donated money allowed him to do more traveling, campaigning etc. etc. At least he didn't spend $150,000 of campaign money on wardrobe..

heres an idea, and im a blackberry neophyte so i could be way off base. couldnt rim set up a private server hooked directly into the goverment system that would allow them to send and receive emails within the govt system? using that couldnt they just keep a list of who can email to the pres and reject all that fall under that. that way all emails are saved. as far as the device falling into the wrong hands, im pretty sure they could set up some kind of proximity device that fries that blackberry if its too far from him or away from him for too long. what do you guys think?

james bond is real guys... come on.

but in all seriousness, theres some crazy stuff out there that we think is only in the movies.

then he would definitely be the first president in the technology age! First youtube, then blackberry messages? He could have an automatic chat feature on his phone that sent everyone who had him on their blackberry messengers updates

I would assume hes not gonna be able to talk to as many people anyways since he has all of the problems Bush created to take care of haha. I think this guy in the video probably could have done it for the week or at least most of it if he didn't have the daughter .... I mean he needs to be able to talk to her so its understandable. Who would want to give up a blackberry though?

Who knows, maybe he can call up his racist pastor or terrorist friend... They should be able to help. Oh and before you jerk your own fingers off by rushing to comment, simply take my comments as I did your comments. You say "all the problem" Bush caused when in fact his free trade was the worst thing and it pretty much ends there. He has done more than any president for a long time, its just easier to blame and not prove your point... and as always if you want me to prove my points I would be glad to in a private message... right after you prove yours....

.. his BB would ultimately be on a BES and any email sent from his BB would have to be sent through the mail system so there would be a record of it. As a BES admin they could turn off SMS messages and turn on call logging and such so everything that Obama did from his BlackBerry could easily be fully tracked. The DOJ uses BlackBerry's currently with SmartCard readers for providing encrypted email access. It's more a question though will he actually NEED the BlackBerry with all his aids bringing him information regularly anyway.

I watched a documentary on Air Force One (Nat Geo HD) and they interview Bush in his office on AFO. There is a BlackBerry on his desk. So I assume this wasn't his?

The reason Obama uses the 8700 is because it was one of the last models with the clickwheel instead of the trackball. I know a bunch of people who use 8700s for this reason. I will not buy a trackball BB and have purchased a couple of as-new 8700s on eBay when mine have croaked.

I am willing to forgo the 3G speeds, web browsing and multimedia gizmos of teh newer BBs in order to have robust messaging on a clickwheel BB.

When the clickwheel was discontinued by RIM there was screaming by users most of whom eventually calmed down and bought a trackball BB. There was also a core group of users who will stick with older wheel BBs as long as they are available. I am one of those and so is Obama - although as the article states he will likely have no BB in the New Year.

Long Live the Wheel!

Kevin, you'll have to send him a copy of your book so he can go through Crackberry cold turkey ;)

I know several people that use their blackberry just to receive messages. They rarely if ever send messages. This allows them to stay updated. Setup an IT policy to prevent sending emails... he can only read them?

Imagine if RIM did set up a special server just for Obama. Then one rogue employee in Canada could wreak havoc on national security in the US.

The thought of a classified data system being connected to the internet must make the security people cringe.

A "read-only" BlackBerry presents opportunities for bad guys too. What if an e-mail came in from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatening to nuke Israel ... but only Ahmadinejad didn't actually send the message?!

I think if Obama keeps a BlackBerry, he will only be able to use it for its other functions (phone, PDA, media, etc.), and *maybe* a personal e-mail account.

First, the BB is G.I. issue. Comes with the job. It's an 8700 because it doesn't have a camera since no pics allowed in gvt. bldgs. The 8820's are coming soon.

Second, The Govt. uses the IDEN network (Nextel) For reasons I can not divulge.

I think it's interesting that the most powerful person in the world needs to be isolated from technology. I'm surprised that the secret service hasn't developed a special 'Presidents Phone' that cannot be tapped, or compromised...kinda like the Bat phone...
Assuming Obama can't change the laws governing cell phone usage around the President, he may be forced to have the Secret Service guards use Blackberry's and pre-load his contact list to each....Then he is free to call, text and email in anonymity !