January 22, 2009 / 8:37 PM / 10 years ago

Obama keeps BlackBerry, after all

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, who worried after winning office that he would have to part with his BlackBerry because of security concerns, will get to keep the addictive email device after all.

Barack Obama re-attaches his Blackberry after it fell off his belt while practicing on the driving range before playing golf in Kailua, Hawaii on December 29, 2008. REUTERS/Hugh Gentry

“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 in a way that use will be limited,” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Thursday.

Security on the device has been enhanced, he said.

Obama, who was sworn in as president on Tuesday, is known to be an avid user of the mobile device made by Research In Motion Ltd., and he has resisted staffers’ efforts to force him to give it up.

Presidential emails are considered to be public records, Gibbs said, and thus subject to disclosure after the president leaves office.

Neither George W. Bush nor Bill Clinton used email during their presidencies.

Reporting by Andy Sullivan, Editing by Frances Kerry

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