Nov 27, 2008

Lifestyle - US;Obama wants to break the bubble

Washington: Determined to break the “bubble” surrounding the U.S. presidency, President-elect Barack Obama has said he is “negotiating” with the Secret Service and others whether he could retain his Blackberry after moving to the White House.

Mr. Obama said he was concerned that the isolated life of a President would limit his access to information from outside the bubble of the White House. Throughout the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama was often seen communicating via his Blackberry mobile phone, a convenience he may legally have to forgo.

For national security purposes, a President has limited access to electronic correspondences for fear of hacking. Additionally, presidential communications are strictly monitored and archived for historical purposes.

“One of the things that I’m going to have to work through is how to break through the isolation — the bubble that exists around the President. I’m in the process of negotiating with the Secret Service, with lawyers, with White House staff ... to figure out how can I get information from outside of the 10 or 12 people who surround my office in the White House,” said Mr. Obama in an interview to ABC News.

Last week, the New York Times had reported that Mr. Obama, apparently addicted to the Blackberry, may have to give up his high-tech instrument.

Quoting Mr. Obama’s aides, the report had said 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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