Pentagon Okays Android … Sort Of
Android has made its first inroad into the Department of Defense. And while it’s not much of one, it is a start.
In its latest Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG), the Pentagon okayed Android 2.2 for use on Defense Department computer networks, but with a number of caveats and limitations.
First, Pentagon approval doesn’t extend to all devices running Android 2.2. In truth, it covers just one: Dell’s Venue smartphone (it would have covered the Streak tablet, as well, had the company not binned it). Second, classified information cannot be transmitted to or from it. Third, any Web browsing done on the device must be conducted via a DOD proxy server. And finally, access to Android Market has been restricted.
So, if you’re a DOD employee hoping to kill some off-hours time with a game or two of Modern Combat on your work-issued Venue, you’re out of luck. And if you happen to own a different-model Android phone, you have no hope of getting it on the DOD’s network — for now, anyway. Devices manufactured by HTC, Motorola, et al, aren’t covered by the STIG.
So, as I said, this isn’t much of a step forward for Android, though it’s a step just the same. One version of the OS is now okay for use by DOD employees, which is more than you can say for Apple’s iOS operating system, which has, so far, been approved only for testing and pilot projects.