Feb 5, 2009

Lifestyle - US;Hilary denied off her blackberry

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton too has confessed that she has been deprived of her Blackberry and called for a need to figure
out smarter way of using technology. "I've been deprived of my Blackberry, so - at least during the day," said the former first lady yesterday while responding to a question from one of the State Department employees on use of social networking technological tools like Face Book and MySpace in enhancing department's diplomatic efforts and business goals. Clinton felt the need to figure out a way consistent with security to use these tools that are quite often blocked by the security agencies and secret services. "There are legitimate concerns about security, but I believe we cannot just take that at face value and stop thinking about it. We've got to figure out how we're going to be smarter about using technology," she argued. Referring to the controversy surrounding the BlackBerry of the President Barack Obama, she said: "You've followed the concern of the President about having to give up his Blackberry. It is maddening, and we know that, but we have to figure out how consistent with what is the security that we need - not everything we want or everything that some people want for us, but what we actually need - we can use these." After much diplomatic persuasion, the Secret Services allowed Obama to let him keep his BlackBerry. But fearing his security, he was given a high-tech special BlackBerry in which messages are sent and received through encryption and is not easily available in the market. His e-mail too is known to a very small group of people. Clinton said the US, the State Department and the White House has been lagging behind in the use of latest technologies. "The United States government has been pretty slow in coming to grips with technology," she said. "I remember when Bill (Clinton) and I arrived in the White House, we had rotary phones. I mean, and I'll tell you what, they didn't even still have rotary phones in Arkansas. We were way, way ahead of that," she said. Bill Clinton was the Governor of Arkansas, before becoming the US President. Observing that the government department is behind nearly everybody, except in certain discrete areas, in terms of technology, Clinton said: "We are, in my view, wasting time, wasting money, wasting opportunities, because we are not prepared to communicate effectively with what is out there in the business world and the private world." She said: "So I care passionately about this, especially since I've been deprived of my Blackberry, so - at least during the day, anyway - so, I am, again, soliciting your advice."

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