President Obama still hasn't gotten his super-secure BlackBerry.
The Washington Times reports that contrary to previous rumors, the president has not received a souped-up smartphone and has instead been forced to use an ungainly hybrid.
He's been plugging an ordinary BlackBerry into a military-spec Sectera Edge smartphone to send messages, apparently the only way his personal BlackBerry could have been upgraded to meet top security standards.
Obama's been spotted checking an BlackBerry 8700 without any other device attached, but he may simply have been reading instead of sending e-mail.
The National Security Agency still needs a few months to test out its replacement: a souped-up BlackBerry 8830 equipped with software called SecurVoice made by Washington, D.C.-based The Genesis Key, Inc.
"We're going to put his BlackBerry back in his hand," Genesis Key chairman Steven Garrett told the Washington Times.
Engineers from BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, based in Waterloo, Ontario, have helped with the upgrade.
It's not clear why it's taking the NSA so long. SecurVoice is a
Also on the list to get the souped-up 8830s are first lady Michelle Obama and top administration officials.
It's not clear why it's taken so long to get the replacement ready. SecurVoice is fairly new, but it's been commercially available since December, and the BlackBerry 8830 has been sold for years.
Before Obama, no commander-in-chief was allowed to have a BlackBerry, or even personal e-mail, due to security concerns.
Both George W. Bush and Al Gore used BlackBerries during the 2000 presidential campaign — Gore e-mailed a concession to Bush on election night using his, then changed his mind — but Bush had to give his up when he was sworn into office.
Obama, however, has been adamant about keeping his, insisting it gives him a lifeline to people outside the Beltway bubble, and the security establishment has grudgingly gone along.
But as famous former computer hacker Kevin Mitnick told FoxNews.com recently, no device is truly fully secure.
"It's a long shot, but it's possible," Mitnick said. "You'd probably need to be pretty sophisticated, but there's people out there who are."