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President Obama Makes Statement On The Sequestration

President Obama to ditch BlackBerry, switch to Android

US Presidents are not allowed to carry cellphones like Blackberry due to security issues. Obama somehow succeeded in keeping his beloved Blackberry. His Blackberry was heavily encrypted, with enhanced security and its usage was limited.

It looks like now Obama will be able to use Android before he leaves the White House. The WallStreet Journal reports, “The White House is testing smartphones from Samsung and LG for internal use, a person familiar with the matter said, threatening one of the last and most high-profile strongholds of BlackBerry.”

The White House Communications Agency and the internal technology team of the White House are conducting the tests on these devices. These tests will take quite some time and the implementation may still be months away. So don’t expect Obama to be taking selfies from his LG or Samsung phones yet.

“We value the long-term relationship we’ve had with the White House and have been securing their mobile communications for more than a decade. The U.S. government requires the highest levels of security. We were the first mobility platform to receive the ‘Authority to Operate’ certification from the Department of Defense.

Update: We just got a statement from Blackberry which emphasizes on the relationship between the White House and the Canadian company.

We value the long-term relationship we’ve had with the White House and have been securing their mobile communications for more than a decade. The U.S. government requires the highest levels of security. We were the first mobility platform to receive the ‘Authority to Operate’ certification from the Department of Defense.

Governments test new technologies frequently, but nevertheless the U.S. government continues to choose BlackBerry for its unmatched security and cost effectiveness. Other vendors such as Samsung and LG still have a long way to go to catch up to meet the government’s stringent requirements and certifications. BlackBerry’s operating system has already received the highest security approvals from the United States, Great Britain and NATO, and our latest operating system, BlackBerry 10, is already certified for high-security users in various NATO countries.

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The story holds great potential to put a dent Blackberry’s image in the market. Countering WSJ’s reports that two government agencies are testing Samsung and LG devices, The Washington Post reports, “A White House spokesman said that the Executive Office of the President is not involved in any pilot program for testing non-BlackBerry phones and that there is nothing new to share about the president’s BlackBerry.”

Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.