Obama plans to keep his BlackBerry

President-elect did not explain how he would overcome legal and security concerns, however

President-elect Barack Obama told CNN he had a plan to "hang onto" his beloved BlackBerry, but did not explain how he would overcome legal and security concerns..

The revelation came in an interview with CNN's John King in which Obama said, "I think we're going to be able to beat this back."

"I think we're going to be able to hang onto one of these. My working assumption, and this is not new, is that anything I write on an e-mail could end up being on CNN," Obama said.

"So I make sure to think before I press 'send'," he said.

Obama did not tell CNN how he would overcome the major hurdles to keeping his BlackBerry, including the requirement to keep a record of every White House communication.

The major concern about using a BlackBerry as president stems mostly from using it for outbound e-mail, several analysts have told <i>Computerworld</i>.

But the president-elect, who will take office next week, said his favorite smartphone was an important tool for him to keep in touch.

"It's just one tool among a number of tools that I'm trying to use, to break out of the bubble, to make sure that people can still reach me," he told CNN.

"If I'm doing something stupid, somebody in Chicago can send me an e-mail and say, 'What are you doing?'"

"I want to be able to have voices, other than the people who are immediately working for me, be able to reach out and send me a message about what's happening in America."

The security question was inadvertently highlighted on Friday as Obama's BlackBerry tumbled from his belt as he exited his limousine and got onto his plane in Washington DC, AFP reported .

The report said a Secret Service agent hurried to pick up the pieces, gathering the BlackBerry and its battery off the tarmac.

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Matt Hamblen

Computerworld
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