Obama deserves mobile web access

While interaction is what makes the web more webby, I’d like to think there are more ways to use the web/ internet.

What I’m thinking of is inbound web content. That is, one-directional internet; you could even call it mobile broadcast.

For years, the President of the United States can freely turn on cable tv to watch CNN or Fox News, so why couldn’t the POTUS pull out a modified blackberry device or gphone or iPhone and get mobile web content?

Having worked at a telecomm company in the past, I’ve heard colleagues say that the said company provided customized telephony to the White House. So, it’s already been a business and government precedence set for custom services to be developed. And, there are cell phones now that get their built-in cameras turned off, right?

It’s reported that Obama will be the first president with a computer on his presidential desk [mobile ver] in that Oval Office. That computer is most likely going to be a MAC. Will Obama using a Mac accelerate its adoption into mainstream? This month was the first time that Windows dropped below 90% market share. [aside: this blog post was composed on 2 Apple products, iPhone and MacBook Pro]

I think he oughta have a unidirectional mobile smartphone to receive near instant inbound web stuff. That’ll keep the questions about the Presidential Records Act moot, and we can keep technological progress progressing. I’m with Bill Brenner, that Obama’s BlackBerry is no security threat: Taking it away could isolate him from the real world.

NOTE: I confess that I haven’t kept up with the news on developments with this issue, so I don’t know if it’s already been resolved. Someone can quickly fact-check and inform me in the comment section.

Yeah, there are possibly many more ramifications and implications that I haven’t considered. Want to voice how frustrating it is for me to see how the laws of the land isn’t able to keep up with the ever-changing ever-developing digital technologies. We’re in an increasingly paperless society.

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4 Responses

  1. arshield says:

    The issue is laws around email retention and freedom of information act. It is not about technology, it is about his own protection from lawsuits.

  2. joel says:

    Actually, DJ, the most significant security concern I've heard from someone who at least claimed to have experience in such things isn't so much that the blackberry could get hacked but rather that it could essentially be used as a homing beacon. I'm much less concerned in this case with informational security (for the reasons Brenner mentions) than I am with physical security. Such possibilities are laughably ludicrous for the average joe, but when the target is the POTUS it becomes a much more realistic possibility.

  3. Dave Travis says:

    Yep, here's the real issue. If a president writes something, or email something, it belongs to the American people and is held in an archive for future study (and scrutiny).

    Presidents hate this (both parties) but it does protect the record.

    What politicians want is that these communications not be archived and recorded. So anything on the blackberry or email would not “go into the archive.”

    Bush had same issue with his email account when he became president. He couldnt email his daughters anymore.

    part of the reason Bush has pushed for more Executive privilege on communications. Obama will push for same.

  4. djchuang says:

    @arshield, @dave: yes, the issue re the Presidential Records Act is about fully disclosed communications, like email, from the POTUS.. I'm putting out there the idea of inbound-only website info so the President get to stay in the loop on what's happening in the real world, without his people filtering and screening everything. Now, maybe that's not what Obama (and Bush) is asking for…

    @joel: hadn't thought of that, but you may be onto something there.. I've got a GPS in my iPhone 3g, and if I know where I am, there may well be a way to reverse engineer it for others to know where I am

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