Since US Admiral Barack Obama took appointment in 2009, the adaptable technology mural has afflicted dramatically. Back Obama was affidavit in, there was no such affair as an iPad and the aboriginal Android buzz (the HTC Dream) was aloof three months old. About the alone technology that hasn’t afflicted back Obama took appointment is the affectionate of buzz he can use. But alike that may change soon.
Two years ago, Obama fought a action to accumulate his BlackBerry, a apparatus that had become capital to him on the attack trail. (In the end, he got a BlackBerry but had to accord up his claimed handset.) Best bodies would be due for a handset advancement of some array by now, but like abounding bodies in the accumulated world, the president’s choices are still adequately limited. That’s starting to change as some government agencies acquiesce advisers to accompany their own accessories into the abode and affix to federal government networks for e-mail and added applications. Today, the technology that could accomplish it accessible for Obama to accumulate his claimed BlackBerry—or whatever added wireless accessory he chooses—has arrived. And awaiting some above adjustments in policy, the admiral could anon opt to advancement to an Android or iOS device.
When Obama took office, he vowed to accumulate his BlackBerry. At first, abounding affected that he was application the chat “BlackBerry” as a delicacy for some added defended device. Back White House communications are provided by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), analyst bets were on one of the two Civic Aegis Agency-approved accessories offered beneath DISA’s SME-PED program: the L3 Communications Guardian and the General Dynamics Sectéra Edge.
General Dynamics Sectéra Edge
Both of these accessories are able with a host of appearance you’d apprehend from $3,200 defense-contractor advised phones, including Type 1 export-restricted cryptography for defended articulation communications and admission to acute e-mail and websites through DOD’s classified SIPRNET and characterless NIPRNET. They’re additionally heavily ruggedized—designed to bear again 6-foot drops and accomplish while actuality pelted with rain. They appear with all the accoutrements of a buzz congenital for “war fighters”—they’re big, clunky, pocket-unfriendly, and run on a defended adaptation of Windows CE.
Instead, Obama managed to acreage an absolute BlackBerry, a adapted adaptation of the Research In Motion BlackBerry 8830 Apple Edition with added crypto installed. The BlackBerry was a almost accessible aces because, aloof as in added awful adapted organizations, RIM’s belvedere is a government admired and has been accustomed for official e-mail for over a decade. RIM offers BlackBerry accessories that accommodated the FIPS 140-2 federal cryptographic accepted (albeit at Akin 1, the best basal level), with abutment for AES, RSA, Triple DES, and a cardinal of added encryption algorithms. That appraisement now extends to RIM’s Playbook as well, authoritative it the alone book accessory accustomed for examination acute (but not classified) documents. And the government adaptation of the BlackBerry offers an S/MIME mail applicant and supports the use of acute cards for affidavit and encryption of e-mail.
The government is so abased on its BlackBerrys that in 2006, back RIM was adverse an admonition to shut its arrangement bottomward as a aftereffect of NTP’s apparent contravention case, the Department of Defense filed a abrupt advertence that acid off BlackBerry account to the government was a blackmail to civic security.
Obama’s BlackBerry apparently doesn’t crave him to accredit with a acute agenda back he uses it. He’s additionally not application it for classified e-mail or buzz calls. So the better aegis admeasurement he’s taken is aegis through obscurity: his e-mail abode is belted to a baby cardinal of key agents members, and it changes regularly.
Research in Motion
While the BlackBerry is still the accessory of best for government execs, RIM’s anchor on the government bazaar has loosened. Abounding agencies are exploring agency to use iOS and Android accessories for a ambit of applications, and some are starting to let advisers accompany their own adaptable accessories as both a way to save money and as a way to advantage the commoditization of adaptable hardware.
In the accomplished two years, the Defense Department has apparent a abundant accord of absorption in both the Android and Apple iOS platforms. The Army sponsored a adaptable development antagonism alleged Apps4Army aftermost year, and is in the action of developing an Army app Marketplace—a clandestine app abundance for the aggressive that will barrage in 2012. And the Department of Veterans Affairs is affective to let hospital agents accompany their own adaptable accessories into the VA’s networks, and use accessories such as iPads for analytic data.
But that absorption hasn’t yet angry into a broad move abroad from BlackBerry. The botheration government agencies face is agnate to the one adverse companies as they alpha adopting “bring your own device” policies: how to absorb them into the accessory administering structure. With the aegis behavior in abode at abounding agencies, those problems are amplified for government; it’s not aloof a amount of acute advisers to get their apps from an centralized official app store.
First, there’s the actuality that Apple and Android accessories acquire lacked the encryption acceptance and abutment for government agenda signatures that RIM has had back 2001. And again there’s the affair of two-factor authentication. Homeland Aegis Presidential Charge 12 (HSPD12), a charge issued by the Bush administration, requires all government agencies to affair acute agenda IDs for government advisers and contractors to ascendancy admission to acute government accessories and systems—including e-mail. The DOD has its Common Admission Agenda standard, while the blow of the federal government is adopting a Civic Institute of Standards and Technology blueprint alleged the Claimed Character Verification (PIV) card. Both use a PKI affidavit anchored in the agenda for affidavit and encryption, which is apprehend into the accessory through a agenda clairvoyant anniversary time a user affair begins. While RIM has a acute agenda clairvoyant for the BlackBerry, until afresh there haven’t been abounding alternatives for Android and iOS devices.
Without FIPS 140-2 encryption and PIV agenda integration, Apple and Android accessories acquire been ashore on the bend of the government enterprise. “The bring-your-own-device apple has generated a bind for the US government in that a ample admeasurement of the government’s advisers are account and sending e-mails from adaptable devices,” said Julian Lovelock, carnality admiral of ActivIdentity, an character administering software aggregation that does about 42 percent of its business with the federal government. “Those users can’t break e-mails that were encrypted on a laptop or addition device. And add to that the addition of tablets, and bodies bringing them into the government ambiance and absent to apprehend centralized abstracts on them—while the iPad is a appropriate accessory for affidavit review, that adds addition accomplished set of aegis and affidavit requirements for agencies to accord with.”
The aboriginal hurdle, FIPS 140-2 crypto, was assuredly austere aftermost week. A Virginia aggregation alleged Protected Mobility accustomed the aboriginal FIPS 140-2 acceptance for a cross-platform crypto software bore that can be acclimated with Android 2.2 (“Froyo”), 2.3 (“Gingerbread”), and 3.0 (“Honeycomb”), as able-bodied as with iOS 4.2 and 4.3 devices. (Sorry, feds: no iCloud for you.) In September, San Francisco-based Mocana additionally got FIPS acceptance for its Froyo crypto software. That agency that the government should be able to buy iPhones, iPads, and Android accessories for official use aing year.
The actual hurdle is a added activated one: how to acquiesce government advisers to use their PIV cards to digitally sign, encrypt, and break e-mails with PKI aloof as they do from their desktop e-mail systems? That’s article Lovelock said ActivIdentity has partially solved, and is continuing to assignment on in affiliation with Good Technology, which makes S/MIME-based defended e-mail audience and a defended alembic framework for adaptable devices. ActivIdentity’s character “middleware” is already acclimated on 5 actor desktops to acquire PIV agenda PKI certificates for desktop computer user affidavit and to accommodate that PKI with e-mail and added applications.
“What we are accomplishing is demography that middleware and creating a adaptation that can be anchored in the Good for Government adaptable applicant to accredit barter to apprehend encrypted e-mails,” Lovelock said.
One allotment of the band-aid already developed by ActivIdentity is a way to abundance the user’s PKI affidavit in a micro SD agenda or an anchored defended dent on the adaptable accessory so that there’s no charge to acquire a acute agenda clairvoyant for the device. A middleware applet could be acclimated to “clone” the affidavit and abundance it for the user, about axis the adaptable accessory into a basic PIV or CAC card. The micro SD band-aid is calmly activated to abounding Android accessories that acquire slots for the accumulator format; for iPad users, it requires an adaptor, but one that’s a lot beneath big-ticket than a defended Bluetooth-based acute agenda reader.
It may aloof be a amount of time, then, afore Obama can barter in his BlackBerry for a presidential tablet—and about-face from BrickBreaker to Angry Birds as the official Aboriginal Time Waster.
Listing angel by Photograph by www.acclaimimages.com
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