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Off the record

india Updated: Nov 18, 2008 20:04 IST

Barack Obama will have to give up his BlackBerry. So what’s cool now?

The holder of the world’s most high-profile job will have a very low-profile presence in today’s 24x7 inter-connected world. Even as the tech-savvy US President-elect, Barack Obama, logs into the Oval Office, he might have to give up his BlackBerry — that must-have gizmo for men/women on the move, who need to take decisions before you can count 60 seconds.

Mr Obama will lose membership to this privileged club because of another privilege he has just won — as the President of the US, he will be governed by the Presidential Records Act, which requires all correspondence from the President to become part of the public record and available for review. Plus, there are security concerns about the data stored on the devices or transmitted via radio frequencies. Mr Obama’s sole communication device will probably be the old-style black (as you know, that’s the colour of power) landline on the huge ‘Resolute Desk’. However, he might create history (he is getting into that nasty habit of creating history, isn’t he?) by getting a laptop computer to work.

For a man used to working with the help of new-world devices, it might be an irritating thought dialling that old relic to talk to the smart new world. But there are two sections of people who are grinning from ear to ear: Mr Obama’s aides, who can now be sure of a good night’s sleep because their BlackBerries will not get any midnight messages from the Boss, and people like us, who still have not acquired that palm-sized symbol of power. It’s now so cool not be BlackBerried!