From CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart
WASHINGTON (CNN) – It’s likely to be the most exclusive e-mail list in the world: Just who will rate access to the presidential BlackBerry?
“The president has a BlackBerry,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday, clearing up weeks of speculation about whether President Obama would be able to hold on to a cherished method of communicating.
The decision to allow Obama to carry a smartphone is “a compromise that allows him to stay in touch with senior staff and a small group of personal friends,” Gibbs told the media in his first press conference since inauguration.
“Use will be limited and the security is enhanced to ensure his ability to communicate but to do so effectively,” Gibbs also said. “And to do so in a way that is protected.”
Gibbs said the 44th president’s e-mail traffic will – with some exceptions – be preserved for historical purposes.
“The presumption regarding those e-mails is that they’re all be subject to the Presidential Records Act,” said Gibbs, who added there are “some narrow exemptions” in the law for “strictly personal communications.”
The press secretary refused to provide any more details about the new president’s use of his new PDA, already being referred to as the “BarackBerry.”
Although Gibbs specifically mentioned the BlackBerry, Obama’s device is reportedly a Sectera Edge, a model from General Dynamics that is capable of encrypting top secret voice conversations and classified documents.