- News (2)
Note this article from the New York Times on January 8, 2009:
and this article from the Telegraph on January 30, 2009:
In an article by the New York Times, January 8, 2009 it was disclosed that for security reasons at that time President-elect, Barack Obama may need to give up his Blackberry. Apparently the pressure to do this was for a variety of reasons. I can understand a few very specifically related to executive security myself:
As technology moves forward the capabilities available to our senior executives must keep up. I’m certainly no President Obama but I feel completely disconnected from the world when I don’t have my communications device up and running. It is to the point that I will call my administrator frequently to ask if I have any important e-mail messages. Technology not only allows us instant mobile access but it has changed our work culture so that there is an expectation of a relatively instant response.
If it’s not safe for the President should the policy extend to any top Federal executive? I would bet you would only get it from them if you pried if from their COLD DEAD HANDS! There must be a better answer than this to the problem.
This is not the first time in history concern over the use of new technology by senior executives has been raised. The use of telegraph wires during the Civil War and wireless communication between executives during WWII were met with apprehension by those responsible for the protection of our secure communications. In general along with a little mis-direction (I believe Churchill used to talk to Roosevelt from a makeshift powder room), the primary solution has been to encrypt information sent from and to senior executives, whether it was via the Telegraph, the Telephone, or the Flag Signals used by Lord Nelson’s forces when they were fighting the French.
In the end the answer shouldn’t be to restrict the use of these devices but to understand how they are being used and develop additional technology, procedures, or other measures to ensure our executives are able to maintain the highest level of efficiency. In a world where changes occur at the speed of light, the last person we want unable to keep up is our Chief.
Our 44th president has proven himself technology savvy and has charged his team to make effective use of innovation. By doing so he has attained the highest position in our government. We can expect that he will want to continue to leverage technology for the advantages it provides and, from his privileged position, enjoy enhanced capability. I believe he will also be focused on ensuring his leadership team is extending technology’s reach into their own organizations’ administration and improving their ability to meet mission objectives. In the long run this will mean more secure robust mobile capabilities for all of us.