John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Samsung and BlackBerry Cleared for Pentagon Work

maxwell-smart-shoephoneSamsung and BlackBerry are good enough for government work.

Late Thursday, the U.S. Department of Defense granted security approvals to BlackBerry’s new BlackBerry 10 devices — the Z10 and Q10 — and to a version of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 that’s outfitted with Knox, the company’s new security software.

Though DOD approval won’t result in immediate product orders for either company, it does clear the way for orders to be placed in the future. Good news, since the Pentagon currently has some 600,000 mobile device users. More important, however, are the implications of the agency’s endorsement.

Certification by the Pentagon is the gold standard in mobile device security. And it opens the door to all sorts of lucrative contracts from government customers and those from highly regulated industries like healthcare and finance.

So, truly a significant milestone for BlackBerry and Samsung, which, with Knox, has just fielded the very first approved-for-DOD-use Android-powered device. But not for Apple. It, too, is seeking security clearance for iOS 6. But the Pentagon has yet to grant it, though it is expected to later this month.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik