BlackBerry Password Trouble on the Hill

New security restrictions are driving members crazy.

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By Paul Bedard, Washington Whispers

A new security requirement ordered by the speaker and the Republican leader to protect House computer networks if a lawmaker's BlackBerry is lost or stolen is driving some members crazy. To use the government-issued devices, a user now has to type in a password. But not just once a day. Sources say that the log-in lasts only minutes, essentially meaning that representatives have to type in their passwords every time they want to use the gadgets. "It's pretty irritating," says California Rep. Mike Honda. Worse: BlackBerrys are permanently deactivated if a password is typed in wrong five times in a row. "Just shred it then," says a House aide.

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