Tech Battle

WASHINGTON, January 23, 2009 (AFP) – Barack Obama celebrated the first triumph of his presidency on Thursday, revealing he will get to keep his beloved BlackBerry. “I have won the fight but I don’t think it is up and running yet,” Obama said, during an impromptu visit to the White House briefing room.

At a time of deep economic crisis and turmoil abroad, one of the most burning questions facing the new White House has been the fate of the president’s trusty portable communications device — his window to the outside world.

Being the world’s most powerful man apparently has its advantages, with Obama facing down the objections of Secret Service protectors and government lawyers trying to take away the cellular device almost always clipped to his belt.

“The president has a BlackBerry through a compromise that allows him to stay in touch with senior staff and a small group of personal friends,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs. “It’s a pretty small group of people.”

“The security is enhanced to ensure his ability to communicate, but to do so effectively and to do so in a way that is protected,” he added.

The spokesman would not say exac