Procuring the Presidential BlackBerry

The Presidential Records Act requires retention of the majority of records created by the president for public review at a subsequent date, along with his BlackBerry will have to be kept and saved, so any message Obama creates, subject to inspection later on. But the bigger issue is the BlackBerry is not likely to get the nod as the presidential wireless handheld in the National Security Agency (NSA) or other national entities using a normal supervision function in top secret communications security, according to specialists.

“The number one goal of anyone anyplace on earth will be the email communications of the strongest guy on earth, the president of America.”

There’s a variant of the BlackBerry that uses AES 256 encryption, which continues to be accepted by the Defense Department for sensitive communications. Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, points to several authorities and third party security certifications that its key-management system is safe.

A November 2008 certificate for instance, by the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information technology in Germany, gave a favorable assessment to the use of cryptographic algorithms and life-cycle of the BlackBerry management of passwords and keys or common secrets.

However, for top secret communications, the NSA has a history of turning to pick manufacturing companies for custom designed gear. Included in these are the high-security STUIII phones or the Secure Mobile Environment that is more recent /Portable Electronic Device application under which General Dynamics constructed PDA and the Sectera Edge smartphone.

L-3 Communications in addition has assembled an SME PDE-design PDA known as the Guardian, which can be experiencing certification.

“If that code can get charge of these devices, it could take such activities as activate the mic, record his dialogues and after that transmit them someplace,” Zimmermann says. “You are being ratted out from these devices in your own pocket.”

Possibly, these devices could even “rat out” your place, he adds, because many smartphones supply exceptionally precise GPS abilities.

While a straightforward BlackBerry for the president might not get the thumbs up in the NSA, Obama shouldn’t always consider this the ultimate word, says security expert Bruce Schneier.

“Look, he is able to determine to paint the White House blue if he desires,” Schneier says. The NSA will let you know the dangers, nevertheless they are going to not ever say here’s what the advantages are.” Obama might be successful and productive having alternative PDA or a BlackBerry, it could outweigh the dangers.

But Schneier also recognizes the danger of hacking on the presidential PDA is high and in any event, it isn’t possible to own complete conviction that email really came from Obama.

“No encryption software solves that,” says Schneier.

The history of Gartner analyst John Pescatore, whose, says NSA-approved apparatus like Sectera could be safe enough to be used in a system that is closed, but the situation is changing to unclassified mode to make use of the Internet.

“Internet email is very unacceptable to get a president to make use of,” Pescatore says. “There’s no powerful authentication — how can anybody show an email came from your president? There isn’t any integrity — how can anybody show the content was not altered?”

Pescatore says he’d likewise be concerned that any wireless apparatus might act as a radio frequency beacon to show the president’s place.

Another challenge — so that you can cause them to become accessible to the general public in the future, the legal requirement beneath the Presidential Records Act that all files are stored by a president — can also be a variable Obama and his team must consider.

Scholars and most legal experts say there is nothing in the Presidential Records Act to avoid use of email.

Nevertheless, present law does not require presidential phone calls though they’ve to be logged to be recorded.

Between the Presidential Records Act, thus as well as the risk of PDA hacking, presidents possess good quality reasons to avoid email, Rudalevige notes.