Interesting front page story in the NYT this Sunday morning about President-elect Obama likely having to surrender his Blackberry and email privileges for the duration of his term due to security concerns and public information laws. At first I was reading the piece, saying “Boneheads. Email good. Luddites in government, bad.” Then the security concerns were cited and I suddenly thought it is maybe not such a good idea to have the Commander In Chief on the RIM network sending emoticons to the National Security Advisor: “Dude. Chechnya! WTF? Call me! (Go Sox)”

Still, for an administration that is releasing weekly “fireside chats” on YouTube, that is seeking a National CTO, and which delivered on the promise of technology first opened up by Joe Trippi and the Howard Dean campaign,  it seems utterly ass-hatted to take away email. But, unless a secure alternative can be developed, the president-to-be may be in the same boat the president-that-was found himself eight years ago when he sadly signed off of his AOL mail account and told his friends it was nice knowing them electronically.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

7 thoughts on “Email-in-chief”

  1. I would think there would be similar problems using cell phones. There must already be some heavy-duty encryption scheme for voice over air. I would think one could modify this to use email/data. No?

  2. FWIW, George Bush really never was into email, AOl or other. During the 2000 campaign, while I was at TechTV, we interviewed him.. I specifically asked him about email. He said that an aide carried a Dell computer around and did his email for him. His brother Jed was an avid emailer, and used to email Bush.. but Bush would only respond via a proxy.

    Forget email, though. What does this mean for twitter?

  3. They’ll have a staffer in the white house communications office updating Twitter no doubt. The big question – what type of message.

    Will it be – “Idaho peeps, pls. call your senators in support of the foobar bill” or will it be “The prez just ate a cheese sandwich…”

  4. Sorry, you can’t play “Hail to the Chief” to a person who uses a service with the word “twit” in it.

    Remember the old Whitehouse email system, the one that did in Ol’ Ollie North? Can’t get more “professional” than a system called PROFS.

  5. Ah … PROFS. A system designed to inflict torture upon corporate drones. My first email experience. Then onto Lotus Notes. I must have done something wrong is some other technological life to have those inflicted on me long term.

  6. Hi Chuck,
    The Obama fireside chats are a perfect way to fuse technology with a technique of the past that worked so well for FDR. It’s a great example of how technology can assit us rather than bog us down. Fireside Chats 2.0.

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