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Obama fighting to keep his BlackBerry

January 08, 2009 21:19 IST
Last Updated: January 08, 2009 21:20 IST


US President-elect Barack Obama [Images] is still 'scuffling' with the Secret Service and lawyers in his battle to keep his Blackberry in the White House, which he says is essential to stay in touch with the outside world.

Though Obama is yet to relent, he has conceded that he might be losing the battle to keep his Blackberry phone.

"I am still clinging to my BlackBerry," Obama said, adding, "They are going to pry it out of my hands."

Asked if the issue has been resolved, Obama said: "I am still in a scuffle around that."

Of all the fights facing Obama as he prepares for the White House, one of the most maddening for him is the prospect of losing the BlackBerry that has been attached to his belt for years, the New York Times reported.

It is, he has vigorously argued, an essential link to keeping him apprised of events outside his ever-tightening cocoon.

"This is a concern, I should add, not just of Secret Service, but also lawyers," Obama said, speaking in an interview with CNBC and The New York Times.

"You know, this town's full of lawyers. I don't know if you've noticed."

Obama shared his agitation at the prospect of losing his last form of direct communication with friends and other advisers who sent him e-mail throughout the presidential campaign. But he, like President George W Bush [Images] before him, is being advised for security reasons and his own legal protection to refrain from sending e-mail during his presidency.

"I don't know that I will win," Obama said. But, he added, "I am still fighting it."

For national security purposes, a president is limited in his electronic correspondences for fear of hacking. Additionally, presidential communications are strictly monitored and archived for historical purposes.

Obama's aides have earlier said that that he hopes to have a laptop computer on his desk in the Oval Office, making him the first American president to do so.




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