I recently read on cnn.com that President Elect Obama is going to likely have to stop using his blackberry when he becomes President. Does this sound like a stupid idea to anyone else? The thought behind it is that because it is a formal written record, “any email can be subpoenaed by Congress and courts and may be subject to public records laws, so if a president doesn't want his e-mail public, he shouldn't e-mail”.
Everyone knows that email is not a private form of communication. I understand fully that every email that I send out using my work server gets saved forever. For example, a very long time ago on one of my first projects, a teammate got into a bit of a sticky situation because of some joke forwards that he had sent a client. My firm was able to pull the emails out of the archives and ‘prove’ what he was doing. However, just because it isn’t totally private, that doesn’t mean that the President should have to totally abandon what is a very efficient form of communication.
Sure, face to face communication is great, but if the President could sit down an hour a day and knock out a few dozen emails I’m almost positive that we would have either solved world hunger or accomplished world peace.