<i>Obama wins first battle -- to keep BlackBerry</i>
Barack Obama celebrated the first triumph of his presidency on Thursday, revealing he will get to keep his beloved BlackBerry.
"I have won the fight but I don't think it is up and running yet," Obama said, during an impromptu visit to the White House briefing room.
At a time of deep economic crisis and turmoil abroad, one of the most burning questions facing the new White House has been the fate of the president's trusty portable communications device -- his window to the outside world.
Being the world's most powerful man apparently has its advantages, with Obama facing down the objections of Secret Service protectors and government lawyers trying to take away the cellular device almost always clipped to his belt.
"The president has a BlackBerry through a compromise that allows him to stay in touch with senior staff and a small group of personal friends," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. "It's a pretty small group of people."
According to The Atlantic magazine, the president will be using a standard BlackBerry but one equipped with a "super-encryption package" developed by an intelligence agency, probably the National Security Agency.
Gibbs confirmed that any emails sent or received by the president would be subject to the post-Watergate Presidential Records Act of 1978, which requires that a record be kept of all White House communication.