The President Still Owns A BlackBerry! Obama Not Allowed To Use An iPhone For Security Reasons
Your smartphone just might be a lot cooler than our President’s mobile device. While everyone is flocking to Apple to purchase the new iPhone 5S, Barack Obama must tote around a once-popular phone that has grown obsolete — the dreaded BlackBerry, LA Times reports.
During an event promoting the Affordable Care Act at the White House, Obama admitted that he’s forbidden from owning an Apple mobile device. “I’m not allowed for security reasons to have an iPhone,” he told the crowd. The Secret Service, according to The Week, is less wary of the Blackberry due to its “superior encryption standards.”
It’s important to note that back when Obama was sworn into office in 2009, the Secret Service didn’t even want him to own a BlackBerry either. But Obama begged to keep the business-oriented device; he told the agency that the phone could be programmed so that only 10 people can have access to his personal email. The secret service conceded. (The President does have an Apple iPad.)
If Obama did own an iPhone, his e-mail, GPS coordinates, personal photos, texts, and countless other classified material could easily be hacked by gadget-savvy troublemakers. So although the BlackBerry is seemingly doomed for failure among its rivals, the antiquated smartphone finds loyal customers within the political atmosphere.
Apple has been working on tightening its security measures “like encryption, forced PIN entry, and the ability to wipe your phone remotely if it’s stolen,” said Slate, but White House members just aren’t ready to risk using an iPhone.
Now as Obama’s comments imply that the iPhone compromises privacy, it brings up questions about the NSA and its data gathering practices, used for spying on Americans. It has been revealed that the NSA collects five billion geolocation records daily!
Slate writes, “Apple was one of several major tech companies identified in leaked NSA documents as being part of the agency’s PRISM surveillance program. And while Apple has insisted that its users’ iMessages are secure, hackers have called those claims into question.”
As for Malia and Sasha, they are totally allowed to own Apple smartphones. Obama’s points out that his phone bill consistently reminds him of his daughters’ iPhone obsession. Those shots of the First Daughters snapping selfies at dad’s inauguration speak to that.