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BlackBerry Blackout: White House Staffers Shut Off Email Devices Over Chinese Spying Fears

First Posted: 08- 4-08 09:56 AM   |   Updated: 08-12-08 05:12 AM

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A senior White House official says staffers accompanying President Bush to China have been told to leave their BlackBerries at home, reports CBS News White House correspondent Peter Maer.

The mobile e-mail blackout is the latest sign of U.S. concerns over Chinese cyber-spying. Sensitive presidential communications are always encrypted, but government cyber-security experts are worried about electronic eavesdropping on the BlackBerries, which are difficult to protect from snooping.

BlackBerries have been banned on other presidential foreign trips but the order underscores specific concerns about Chinese spying during the Olympics, reports Maer.

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Filed by Nick Graham  |  Report Corrections