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Which smartphones do Obama, Putin, Cameron use?

Last updated on: May 21, 2014 16:15 IST

Which smartphones do Obama, Putin, Cameron use?

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After Edward Snowden* revealed that US agencies monitored phones of the world leaders; every country is ensuring that the phones of its important officials are secured against hacking and espionage. According to media reports, The US National Security Agency had eavesdropped on 35 world leaders.

As countries upgrade communication devices of the head of states, let’s take a look at the preferred phones of PMs, Presidents, and important politicians globally.

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* An American computer professional, ex-employee of the Central Intelligence Agency and former contractor for the National Security Agency, Snowden came to international attention after disclosing to several media outlets thousands of classified documents that he acquired while working as an NSA contractor for the IT consulting firm Dell.


Image: US President Barack Obama.
Photographs: Reuters

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Obama

Designation: President

Country: US

The US president loves his Blackberry. According to The Guardian, the security agencies have enhanced security on his phone further to protect him against hackers and spy agencies of other countries.

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Image: US President Barack Obama talks on the phone with his family during a campaign bus trip near Sioux City, Iowa.
Photographs: Carlos Barria/Reuters

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Hillary Clinton

Designation: Former Senator

Country: US

Hillary Clinton is pictured many times with her Blackberry phone. Her photos with phone even inspired a Tumblr page called textsfromhillaryclinton.tumblr.com.

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Image: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton checks her PDA upon her departure in a military C-17 plane from Malta bound for Tripoli, Libya.
Photographs: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

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Vladimir Putin

Designation: President

Country: Russia

The Russian President has denied using mobile phones. A former KGB spy, his aversion to using phone is attributed to security concerns. However, UK-based The Telegraph reported that since 2012 he has been seen using an Android phone by MTS.

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Image: Russian President Vladimir Putin talks on the phone.
Photographs: Chris Wattie/Reuters

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Nawaz Sharif

Designation: Prime Minister

Country: Pakistan

As per The Guardian report, Sharif uses Blackberry phone. He is fan of Blackberry Messenger that he uses to keep in touch with close ones.

He has also been spotted using Apple and Samsung phones that belong to ‘members of his entourage’.

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Image: Pakistan's prime minister Nawaz Sharif speaks on his phone after a news conference in London.
Photographs: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

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David Cameron

Designation: Prime Minister

Country: UK

The UK PM is another one among the Blackberry fans. Despite security concerns over hacking and espionage, he wanted to retain his phone. According to Telegraph, he recently agreed to use encrypted phone.

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Image: Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron looks at his mobile phone on his bus during an election campaign trip in London.
Photographs: Kirsty Wigglesworth/Reuters

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Kim Jong-un

Designation: Premier

Country: North Korea

The North Korean supreme leader was pictured with a phone at a national security meeting in early 2013. Most believe that it was a HTC Butterfly handset.

North Korea manufactures its own Android-based smartphones called Arirang. And the use of mobile phones are restricted only to 10 per cent of the total population, which include officials, their families, wealthy residents and businesspersons.

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Image: Kim Jong-un, the youngest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, applauds during a military parade.
Photographs: Petar Kujundzic/Reuters

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Angela Merkel

Designation: Chancellor

Country: Germany

The Germany’s head of state uses at least two phones - a Nokia 6260 Slide and a BlackBerry Z10. For party matters, she uses Nokia and for state affairs the Blackberry.

Her phones came into limelight when there were reports that US eavesdropped on her calls.

In fact, she had called up Obama demanding an explanation on the confidential reports released by Edward Snowden that US spy agencies were monitoring her calls.

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Image: German Chancellor Angela Merkel checking her mobile phone.
Photographs: Tobais Schwarz/Reuters

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Francois Hollande

Designation: President

Country: France

Hollande is seen using his iPhone 5 quite often. But the phone is used only for personal purpose.

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Image: French President Francois Hollande speaks on his phone at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
Photographs: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

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Nicolas Sarkozy

Designation: Former President

Country: France

Guardian states that the former President is addicted to Blackberry. The security agencies tried giving him a highly secured Teorem phone, which he refused as it was cumbersome to use.

To escape phone tapping, Sarkozy allegedly bought a phone using identity of a French citizen called Paul Bismuth, who has threatened legal action against the former President.

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Image: Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy talks on a mobile phone at a Security Council Summit meeting during the United Nations General Assembly at the U.N. headquarters in New York.
Photographs: Mike Segar/Reuters

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Yingluck Shinawatra

Designation: Former Prime Minister

Country: Thailand

According to Telegraph, the ousted Prime Minister owns five smartphones including an iPhone 5. And her phone ownership is not surprising, as the tech savvy politician had served as the CEO of Thailand's largest mobile phone operator Advanced Info Service.

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Image: Thailand's Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (R) and Ho Ching, wife of Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, look at a mobile phone during the ceremonial flag down of ASEAN-India car rally.
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters

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Matteo Renzi

Designation: Prime Minister

Country: Italy

The Italian PM is an Apple fanboy. In fact, when Steve Jobs died, he wrote a tribute to Apple co-founder on his Facebook page.

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Image: Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi talks during a news conference in Rome.
Photographs: Max Rossi/Reuters

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Dr Manmohan Singh

Designation: Former Prime Minister

Country: India

Just like his Russian counterpart, the former Prime Minister of India does not own a mobile phone or operate an email account.

When the the revelations came to light that US spy agencies were monitoring calls of the world leaders, Indian PM’s office said that they have nothing to worry about, as Manmohan Singh neither has a personal number nor an email address.

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Image: India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gestures during the national communal harmony awards ceremony in New Delhi.
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters

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