Monday 19 February 2018

President Obama 'not allowed iPhone for security reasons'

US President Barack Obama
US President Barack Obama

Matthew Sparkes

President Barack Obama admits that he is banned from using Apple's iPhone for "security reasons", but is allowed to hang on to his ageing BlackBerry

The President of the United States, Barack Obama, admits that he is banned from using Apple's iPhone for "security reasons", but is allowed to use an iPad in a personal capacity.

Because the iPhone does not have the appropriate level of security clearance, the President reportedly uses older BlackBerry models. In December 2012 he was pictured using a BlackBerry Bold 9900.

Obama famously had to fight to retain his personal smartphone when he entered the Oval Office in 2009, but said that his email address was only known to 10 people.

In 2008, prior to his inauguration, he told ABC that he was keen to keep it in order to prevent a cordon forming around him when he became President: "One of the things that I'm going to have to work through is how to break through the isolation and the bubble that exists around the president. And I'm in the process of negotiating with the Secret Service, with lawyers, with White House staff.

"I'm negotiating to figure out how can I get information from outside of the 10 or 12 people who surround my office in the White House. Because, one of the worst things I think that could happen to a president is losing touch with what people are going through day to day," he said.

It was thought at the time that carrying a traceable smartphone could be a security risk, but Obama was ultimately allowed to keep his smartphone and is occasionally spotted filling quiet moments by thumbing through emails.

But in 2010 he admitted that because his correspondence could be made publicly available, people were reluctant to speak freely: “I’ve got to admit, it’s no fun because they think that it’s probably going to be subject to the presidential records act, so nobody wants to send me the real juicy stuff.

“It’s all very official. 'Mr. President, you have a meeting coming up and we’d like to brief you.’”

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