Now that Obama is preparing to enter the White House in January, protective aides are doing all they can to conceal the privacy of the president-elect and his family. According to an article by Bruce Schneier in The Wall Street Journal, Obama is being forced to get rid of his Blackberry because of the security risks that it poses to him and his family. Aides are concerned that any information or conversation can be made public and will hurt Obama just as several political figures have endured in the past.
According to Schneier, conversations are becoming less and less private in the information age. He believes that the way communication has evolved can be contributed to a cultural change. However, not everyone is fully adapted to this change because of a generation gap.
“Until our CEOs blog, our Congressmen Twitter, and our world leaders send each other LOLcats – until we have a Presidential election where both candidates have a complete history on social networking sites from before they were teenagers– we aren’t fully an information age society,” Schneier stated.
Obama’s aides believe that it is in his best interest to rid himself of his Blackberry so his personal life is not made public.
Marist senior Poul Carstensen said he believes that Obama should be granted the right to keep his Blackberry because it is a basic provision for personal communication.
“Despite the fact that he needs his personal life to be kept private, he also needs his own freedom,” Carstensen said.
As far as the protection of the First Family goes, there is plenty of information regarding Obama’s daughters that is not being released. According to an article on msnbc.com, the school which they will attend is not being made available for public knowledge. It is likely that Americans will respect Obama’s decisions to keep this type of information private because of its exemplification of family values.
Along those lines, Carstensen said he thinks that we, as a country, will be forced to view Obama’s decision making slightly differently because of his family makeup. Furthermore, we can see how those decisions apply to the protection of him and his own.
“We have not seen this extreme amount of protection surrounding a First Family for several years,” Carstensen said. “The family lives of the Clinton’s and the Bush’s were very different because they did not have young children during the time in which they held office.”
Regarding Obama’s governing style, Carstensen believes that he may come under a different type of scrutiny because he must look out for his family on a whole different level than in past administrations in addition to leading our country in change.
“I don’t believe that having a young family will change the way he governs,” Carstensen said. “However, it will change the way we see how his decisions are applicable to families in general, simply because of how we will see how it relates to his.”