Obama insists he's keeping his BlackBerry

It's his party and he'll email if he wants to

BlackBerry   Presidential seal of approval

Barack Obama looks likely to hang onto his BlackBerry – despite being advised to hand in the device before he takes up the role of US President this week.

Obama is a well-publicised user of the RIM BlackBerry and, even though no prior president has used such a device, he's keen to stay in touch with his email.

Mr Obama said in a CNN interview: "I think we're going to be able to hang onto one of these [the BlackBerry].

"I want to be able to have voices, other than the people who are immediately working for me, be able to reach out and — and send me a message about what's happening in America," he said.

Who's going to tell him?

Of course, Obama's intransigence over relinquishing the device and his impending role as the one of the most powerful men in the world still doesn't necessarily mean that he will be able to keep his BlackBerry.

There remain concerns over the security of the device – as well as legal questions over emails and other communications made by the President.

"If the president were using a BlackBerry, the requirement would be that we're able to store those messages and retain them for future use," Sharon Fawcett, Director of Presidential Libraries at the National Archives, told The Times.

But she added: "If the president is e-mailing his wife about what time he'll be home for dinner or checking on when the girls' play is at Sidwell Friends and whether or not he's going to be going, those are not constitutional and statutory business of the president. Those are personal messages, so we wouldn't have that."