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Feds dump BB for Iphone/iPad


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Ok, just one agency, but another kick in the cojones for Blackberry. Goverment agencies besides Big Business were one of the last big stalwarts to keep BB floating in the U.S. They should hope August gets here soon so their new "London" device and the Playbook 2 can get back in the game.




Government agency ditches BlackBerry for iPhone, iPad


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency within the United States Department of Commerce, will stop using BlackBerry phones later this year and instead supply workers with Apple’s mobile devices. In a memo relayed by Loop Insight, NOAA’s Chief Information Officer and Director for High Performance Computing and Communications said that support for BlackBerry phones will cease in May of this year. Apple’s iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S will replace the agency’s BlackBerry handsets, and NOAA plans to adopt current and future generations of Apple’s iPad tablet as well. Research In Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones have been the U.S. government’s go-to solution for wireless devices due to their enhanced security and robust messaging capabilities. Loop Insight’s report did not indicate that the NOAA memo provided an explanation for the agency’s decision.

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Seems to be the trend. Good Mobile Messaging is scooping up contracts with government entities to allow corporate e-mail on iOS and Android handsets. It even allows employees without a corporate handset to install Good on their phone or tablet and access their e-mail.

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I haven't really been keeping up, but it speaks volumes about how Apple and Google must have increased the security of the OS's. The Army will be deploying Android phones and civilian agencies appear to be adopting Apple products. BB really has slipped a lot to let these two gain a foothold in an area BB can't afford to lose.

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  • 1 year later...

actulaly you need to dig deeper..you CANNOT use wifi and cnanot instlal any apps form anywhere if you want to sue anything but BB inside many agencies..you also MUST use BB server for the phones e-maiil services exclusively.  




Remember how people said that BlackBerry was "cooked" when the DOD said they were going to likely approve Apple products -- and then did -- for use on their networks?

There's a wee problem -- the conditions associated with that approval.

From BerryReview:

  • No Safari browser (you have to use a containerized browser that will have far fewer features)
  • No iMessage
  • No iTunes
  • No App Store (as in only apps the DoD allows on your device through their own App Store)
  • Containerized segregated email client
  • No Wi-Fi access on DoD Wi-Fi networks though you can use it at home or publicly
  • Must be connected to a MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution

The last point is one of the most interesting. To be able to use an iOS device or Android device on the DoD network it must be hooked up to an MDM. Currently the only approved MDM is BlackBerry Enterprise Service.


So if you want an actual device on a DOD network that you can use for actual things beyond access to  your DOD stuff there is only one choice of manufacturer that ships now and works: The BlackBerry Z-10 and Q-10 devices.

If you really want an iPhone you must use it connected to the BES (BlackBerry's!) management service and you cannot load general-purpose apps nor can you use Apple's messenger client or full-featured browser and email system.  Not only that you can't run it on DOD WiFi networks at all.

The WiFi restriction is interesting; this implies that DOD is unhappy with something in their VPN capability.  It may be that the DOD wants IPSEC/IKEv2 for security reasons and IOS doesn't offer it -- not sure.  Whatever it is, it's not good enough from their point of view.

But more to the point from a user perspective without the ability to run consumer apps and the browser along with the IOS email and messaging systems the entire reason to have such a device disappears!  Those capabilities are, basically, why people want the iPhone and iPAD in the first place.

In the meantime DOD approval for BB10 devices (Z-10 and Q-10 at present) mandated Balance (BlackBerry's dual-partition system for separating personal and work spaces) under the approved MDM (BES) but placed no other restrictions on the configuration.  Thus you can have your personal email, music and apps on the device unrestricted, and in addition it appears that you don't even have to secure the personal partition if you don't want to (although you probably should since you probably care about your personal data as well as your work stuff.)



This talks about the DOD but if you dig deeper you'll see the same type of policies in effect for other agencies as well.

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People have been saying this for a couple of years and Android and IOS still haven't come up to match Blackberry in security yet without a whole bunch of things that have to be done. IOS is still waiting for a FIPS 140-2 certification.



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  • 1 month later...

Fixmo provides FIPS for both Apple and Android, and just got approved I read.


Sent from my Galaxy S3 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

That is a low level cert and the list of errata or restrictions for those devices to even be used in the lowest secured areas is enough to make them useless outside of the secure environment.  The ONLY platform approved for use inside and outside of the DOD is the BB10 platform(see my thread in this forum).

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That is a low level cert and the list of errata or restrictions for those devices to even be used in the lowest secured areas is enough to make them useless outside of the secure environment.  The ONLY platform approved for use inside and outside of the DOD is the BB10 platform(see my thread in this forum).


I was referencing the 140-2 certification being approved.


As far as the DOD approvals, I havent really been following specifically, but the 140-2 cert is relevant to non DOD funcitons, like medical records and what not in regards to HIPAA.

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