It appears that President Barack Obama gets to keep his BlackBerry after all, but some experts are questioning whether the Research In Motion device will provide enough security for the president.
At a press conference Thursday, a White House spokesman said the President will keep his BlackBerry "to stay in touch with senior staff and a small group of personal friends in a way that use will be limited and that the security is enhanced."
Microsoft, however, has questioned the wisdom of the president relying on a device whose maker is based in Canada.
"You would be sending your data outside the country," says Randy Siegel, a Microsoft enterprise mobile strategist who works on federal government projects. "We wouldn't want the casual musings or official communications of the most important person in the world being intercepted by others."
Even if RIM routed information through a U.S. data center, the devices aren't built to NSA's security specs, he says. RIM declined to comment.
Siegel argues that a better alternative would be a National Security Agency-approved device, such as the Sectéra Edge.
Made by defense contractor General Dynamics and powered by Microsoft's Windows CE software, the Edge is a smartphone that secures voice as well as data use.
It was certified by the NSA in December 2007 but didn't become available until this month, and the 12-ounce device costs about $3,350.