President Obama will soon get his souped-up, high-security BlackBerry for use in and around the White House and during presidential travel, said Obama administration officials.
The top-secret BlackBerry 8830 is in the final stages of development by the National Security Agency, which will soon begin checking to make sure its encryption software meets federal standards. The device could be ready for use in the next few months.
Once in hand, the president will be able to send text and email and make phone calls to others with the secure software loaded on their devices. Others expected to get secure BlackBerrys likely include top aides as well as first lady Michelle Obama.
The software being used to secure the personal digital assistant is called SecureVoice, developed by the Genesis Key, Inc. of Washington. It can turn any BlackBerry 8830 or Curve into a top-secret device for handling phone calls, e-mail and video streaming, as well as Internet access.