And unlike tech execs and anyone else the president is not subject to search warrants or subpoenas in many cases due to "executive privilege".
The PRISM program, which captures a huge fraction of world email traffic, is "the most prolific contributor to the President’s Daily Brief" according to the NSA. Reading other people's email on a regular basis probably makes you cautious about your own email habits rather than being worried about FOIA requests you can probably ignore.
Despite all of these protections our presidents still feel they have to take the extraordinary step of not using email at all. Very shady.
It doesn't even mean they're being shady, I mean they are, but 99% of the time we're talking about routine conversation. What if you had a bunch of people trying to do a hatchet job on you, ready to take any sentence out of context and leak it?
If they're already doing that, the rest of this seems a bit silly. Why bother with a cellular-modem connection at all, if you're just going to route it (presumably using a 4G picocell) back out over IP? I can understand the custom encryption, but you can do that just as effectively over wi-fi.
What is wrong with securing the device with a VPN or something and then using the same services that the entire government already use on desktops?
So either you convince Cisco that they need to fire any non-US nationals involved in packaging/bugfixes/security and have everyone submit to security screening, or you build your own.
For example, a few months ago I visited a friend there, and I got to tour the SpaceX factory. Since I'm foreign, he had to jump through some hoops and there were parts of it the factory that were off-bounds for me.
I know there are very tight controls on space-related industries and I can understand the no-pictures policy, but I don't know why it makes such a big difference whether I was born elsewhere.
In all honesty, if you are an intellectual, go elsewhere than the US. We're slowly turning technological backwater because we do not cater to smart people who were born in (gasp) other countries.
As for me, I'm stuck here, due to family ties and money. I wish you the best, wherever you go.
Some would argue that's still true today.
Whilst the timing is slightly out (Vista wasn't released to the public until 2007?) it may be possible that Microsoft provided them with a version forked from a much earlier build.
However, the memo does go on to say that the Government were planning a third generation of Firecrest due to be rolled out autumn 2006 with support from HP. This might be the version that is forked from Vista?