There are plenty of reasons why President-elect Barack Obama is being advised to give up his blackberry. I fully understand the issues surrounding presidential records, but I think the security issues are just FUD.
Are we really, as IT and security professionals, saying that the President's Blackberry can't be secured? Are we saying that the best minds available can't find a way to ensure that the President can securely communicate? Are we also saying that we can't place filters and rules on the mail server to ensure that certain documents and messages don't get sent to the blackberry?
Are we, as a group, giving up on the security of that device?
Are we giving up on message security in general?
And what are we giving up?
We are potentially giving up a chance to have a president that is connected. A president that can get beyond the White House bubble that has insulated too many presidents. We are potentially giving up having a president that can truly understand the reality of life in America post "GWB, Inc." The biggest lesson we should learn from the last administration is that an insulated, out of touch President, is a bad thing. Bad ideas, bad decisions, bad consequences.
If we are giving up on this effort, then I am ashamed to be member of the community.
What does giving up say about the state of the industry?
And what does it say about the security of modern electronic communication? Should we really be promoting the use of smart phones and other devices for federal leaders? Should we be relying so heavily on devices that we really don't trust?
We need to look long and hard at this.