Obama says iPhone is insecure; DoD agrees

Obama iPhone security

If you like your iPhone, you can keep your iPhone. Period.

President Obama has revealed that he's not permitted to carry an iPhone. It's too insecure for the job, he says. Instead, he's stuck with a BlackBerry. Well, someone's got to have one still. However, it turns out that the Pentagon has also outlawed non-BlackBerry smartphones.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers joke that 2006 called and they want their smartphones back.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

 

Anna Yukhananov reports:

BlackBerry still has at least one very loyal customer. ... Obama said he is not allowed to have Apple's smart phone, the iPhone, for "security reasons."

...

BlackBerry, a Canadian company formerly known as Research In Motion Ltd, virtually invented the idea of on-the-go email, but lost [out] as rivals brought out more consumer-friendly devices, like Apple's iPhone.  MORE

 

The faceless gnomes of AFP say it explains "why he is sometimes seen with a bulky super secure Blackberry":

Obama told a group of young people at the White House for an event promoting his health care law...that his daughters Sasha and Malia spend a lot of time on their iPhones.

...

The security measures on Obama's specially adapted Blackberry came under new scrutiny this year following claims that US spies had eavesdropped on the mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. [Obama] often privately talks of how frustrated he is about the White House "bubble" which makes it very difficult to communicate with normal people or to get information from the outside world. ... Aides say his Blackberry is a way to escape that confinement.  MORE

 

Sean Hollister nods in deep understanding:

The restriction is not much of a surprise, considering how stringent the President's security requirements are. Originally, Obama wouldn't even have had a BlackBerry if the NSA had its way in 2009.

...

But while you could possibly take Obama's comment as the latest admission that the government needs to better understand consumer technology...that wasn't the President's point at all. He was merely humbly admitting that he wasn't quite as tech-savvy as his youthful audience and doesn't know how much their smartphones cost. ... "My suspicion is that for a lot of you, between your cable bill and your phone bill, you're spending more than $100 a month."  MORE

 

But it's not all bad news for iOS, says Alan Friedman:

The president does have an Apple iPad 2 which was given to him by none other than the late Steve Jobs.

...

While the iPhone does have clearance for Department of Defense employees and some government agencies, this clearance is well below what a presidential phone needs.  MORE

 

Wait, did you say "DoD clearance"? Not so fast, writes Antone Gonsalves:

The Pentagon has told employees to put down their beloved iPhones, iPads and Android gadgets and go back to using an older model BlackBerry. ... Defense contractors have said that they suspect the consumer-oriented devices may not meet battlefield security standards.

...

DISA documents...say only BlackBerry phones and Playbook tablets have an "authority to operate" on Defense Department networks. ... The new orders have led to grumbling among some Army employees [but] so far, only the BlackBerry has proven to be battlefield ready.  MORE

 

Meanwhile, Rabid Howler Monkey has advice for the White House:

Draft an Executive Order declaring that the President...can use a bright cherry red iPhone 5C. ... I believe that BES can handle the iPhone.

...

Why not the iPhone 5S? Saving U.S. taxpayers money, of course. Why bright cherry red? To reflect the U.S. national debt of approx. $17 trillion.  MORE

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