By Adam Z. Lein | January 23, 2009 2:46 PM
As Stephen mentioned earlier this month, President Obama should be using Windows CE on the extremely secure General Dynamics Sectera Edge. President Obama didn’t want to give up his Blackberry, so they made a compromise.
According to this report from PC Magazine, Obama will be allowed to use his Blackberry for personal communications. In other words, mundane friends and family stuff. However, for the real work in his job as President, he’ll have to use something more capable. Currently, the choices are two devices running Windows CE (which Windows Mobile is built upon); the Sectera Edge or the L3 Guardian.
These highly customized Windows phones are the result of an $18 million, NSA-sponsored program to develop a top-secret smart phone. They’re the only mobile phones that have access to a secret, controlled Internet called SIPRNet, the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network.
To make voice calls, for instance, the Edge uses an encryption protocol called SCIP, the Secure Communications Interoperability Protocol. It runs on any of the four national cell-phone carriers’ you can actually switch the cellular module out by hand but the calls are encrypted end-to-end, so that they can only be decrypted by another SCIP phone.
The Edge can also switch to an unclassified mode. How it does the trick is, apparently, classified. But by pressing a button, you can instantly call up entirely separate “classified” and “unclassified” systems. Each system has its own calendar, applications, data and voice calling. The system you aren’t using waits in the background, ready for action with the press of a button. That would prevent Obama from having to carry a separate BlackBerry to talk to his friends and family.