Obama made more history today by becoming the first U.S. president with official access to e-mail. And he has a special BlackBerry to help him do it.
Until the Obama administration, presidents have not used e-mail because of fears that e-mail accounts could not be secured against hackers. In addition, every piece of presidential e-mail correspondence becomes part of the public record.
On the campaign trail, Obama often was spotted using his BlackBerry. Earlier this month, fearing the Secret Service would make him give it up when he became president, Obama said that agents would have to “pry it out of my hands.”
“The president has a BlackBerry through a compromise that allows him to stay in touch with senior staff and a small group of personal friends in a way that use will be limited,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
Obama’s BlackBerry is no ordinary mobile device: It has extra levels of security and ordinary citizens will not be able to directly e-mail the president. White House officials say that Obama now has a new, secret e-mail address.