NEW YORK: Being President of the USA will cost tech-savvy Barack Obama his 'Blackberry.'
If media reports here are to be believed then President-elect Obama, who is apparently addicted to Blackberry, will, in all probability, have to abandon the hi-tech gadget, before occupying the White House.
In addition to concerns about the e-mail security, the New York Times says, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts all his correspondence, even personal, in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of
Quoting Obama's aides who doubt his being the first e-mailing president of America, the paper said that the President-elect, however, seems intent on pulling the office at least partly into the 21st century.
His aides told the Times that Obama hopes to have a laptop computer on his desk in the Oval Office, making him the first American president to do so.
Although Obama has not sent a farewell dispatch from the personal e-mail account he uses he has not changed his address in years but friends say the frequency of correspondence has diminished.
In recent days, though, he has been seen typing his thoughts on transition matters and other items on his BlackBerry, bypassing, at least temporarily, the bureaucracy that is quickly encircling him, the paper reported.
Obama is the second president to grapple with the idea of this self-imposed isolation.
Three days before his first inauguration, the Times reported, George W Bush had sent a message to 42 friends and relatives that explained his predicament.
"Since I do not want my private conversations looked at by those out to embarrass, the only course of action is not to correspond in cyberspace," Bush wrote from his old address, *G94B@aol.com*. "This saddens me. I have enjoyed conversing
with each of you."
But in the interceding eight years, as BlackBerrys have become ubiquitous and often less intrusive than a telephone, the volume of e-mail has multiplied and the role of technology has matured.
Obama, says the paper, used e-mail to stay in constant touch with friends from the lonely confines of the road, often sending messages like "Sox!" when the Chicago White Sox won a game.
He also relied on e-mail to keep abreast of the rapid whirl of events on a given campaign day, the paper added.
Obama's memorandums and briefing books were seldom printed out and delivered to his house or hotel room, aides said. They were simply sent to his BlackBerry for his review.
If a document was too long, he would read and respond from his laptop computer, often putting his editing changes in red type.
His messages to advisers and friends, they say, are generally crisp, properly spelled and free of symbols or emoticons.
The time stamps provided a window into how much he was sleeping on a given night, with messages often being sent to staff members at 1 am (local time) or as late as 3 am (local time) if he was working on an important speech.