Pentagon to Open Communications Networks to Apple Devices in 2014

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The U.S. Department of Defense today announced (via Bloomberg) a "commercial mobile device implementation plan" that would allow iOS and Android devices to be used on its secure classified and protected unclassified communication networks beginning in February 2014.
    As Bloomberg notes, BlackBerry is currently the dominant device at the Pentagon with almost 450,000 devices being used by its employees. Over the past several years, BlackBerry has seen its enterprise dominance chipped away by Apple devices, as corporations and other government agencies have been trading in their BlackBerry devices for iOS and Android ones.

    This would mark the first time that commercial products like iPhones and iPads would be allowed on the department's classified networks. The department also plans to create a military mobile applications store and hire a contractor that would build a network system capable of handling as many as 8 million devices.

    Teri Takai, the DoD's chief information officer, said that the move is about "keeping the department's workforce relevant" in a time where information accessibility and cybersecurity are crucial to "mission success." The department currently uses older BlackBerry devices, but the company is set to launch its new BlackBerry Z10 phone, based on the company's revamped operating system, next month.

    Article Link: Pentagon to Open Communications Networks to Apple Devices in 2014
  2. smallnshort247 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2010
    Now people won't need to carry a Blackberry & iPhone. Time to consolidate!
  3. Mobster1983 macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2011
    About damn time. I hate hate hate having to carry a Blackberry around all the time along with my personal iPhone.
  4. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    I doubt that commercial devices have the necessary shielding.
  5. ifonlyihad1 macrumors newbie


    Feb 26, 2013
    A galaxy far far away
  6. ArchAndroid macrumors member


    Aug 26, 2012
    London, England
  7. AlbertEinstein macrumors regular


    Jan 3, 2013
    So it's a classified unclassified network?
  8. Moshe1010 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 27, 2010
    I don't think the US government would survive until iOS 7, so 2014?
  9. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    They are referring to two different networks. The U.S. has lots of different 'terms' defining how sensitive information is. Secret, Top Secret, Classified, Protected, etc. etc. They have both protected, unclassified networks, and secure classified networks.

    Although I've only seen the truly secure pentagon stuff (in pictures and stuff) via ethernet. Check out any pictures of the "situation room" or other high profile, highly classified areas within the pentagon. All of the laptops are connected via ethernet (tagged with 'classified' ribbons around the cable).

    My younger brother is in the Navy and works in information security and network administration. He says they use ethernet alone for everything classified. So one might think that the 'protected unclassified' would be a form of secure Wi-Fi for devices. Or just a separate network entirely. I wouldn't be surprised if the 'secured classified' network was completely isolated, not physically or otherwise connected to any other network OR to the internet.

    Interestingly though, this article makes it seem like the iPhones and Android devices would be connected to what they are describing as 'secured classified'. So maybe they are opening up the classified (or already have) network to Wi-Fi?

    Who knows. Sure is pretty interesting though.
  10. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
    Imagine an iDrone using Apple maps taking instructions from Siri? It would probably attack Washington by mistake.
  11. flat five macrumors 68040

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
  12. ThunderSkunk macrumors 68020

    Dec 31, 2007
    Colorado & Ontario
    Huh. For the kind of... they'd at very least need their own OS.

    ...if not hardware.

    I can't imagine how they'd make use of stock consumer hardware.
  13. Yelmurc macrumors regular

    Apr 16, 2008
    Houston TX
    This is a blow to Blackberry. Apple and the android phone makers are now showing they have the security needed at the highest levels.
  14. needfx macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2010
    macrumors apparently
  15. TMar macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2008
    Depending on how you look at it it might do it on purpose.
  16. pimentoLoaf, Feb 27, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013

    pimentoLoaf macrumors 68000


    Dec 30, 2001
    The SimCity Deli
    Now if only the Pentagon brass can drag the patent trolls into a room with the Apple & Android people and say, "Enough is enough. Stop your bickering, we got lots of work to do protecting this country! We need this stuff to work together, not worry about lost sales. Grow up!"
  17. flat five macrumors 68040

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
    apple will make 2million of them.. and make similar profit as if they sold 10m consumer phones.. with a lot less work involved than selling the 10m ..

    no biggie..


    and make no mistake re: this new marriage (at least, new to me)

    nobody.. and i mean nobody on this planet walks around with that much cash and doesn't have a big time say in what's going on..
    they're also further enhanced by how much more content we're being fed as opposed to via TV..

    i'm just know?
  18. japanime macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2006
    When I first saw that huge Department of Defense logo on the front page of Macrumors, I thought the website had been hit with an ICE takedown! :eek:
  19. Puevlo macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2011
    Enjoy having your secret service contacts accessed by people using the emergency number bug.
  20. thasan macrumors 6502a

    Oct 19, 2007
  21. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    No. There are multiple networks that are not interconnected
  22. RolyPolyBird macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2010
    "The department also plans to create a military mobile applications store and hire a contractor that would build a network system capable of handling as many as 8 million devices. "

    lol the military industrial complex. Meanwhile more and more Americans slip into poverty and turn to meth.
  23. katewes macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2007
    Is this the Department of Defence just bowing to market pressure to allow the two dominant mobile platforms to be used - or have they really tested iOS and Android to be secure enough? Begs that question whether the decision was made before or after the recent spate of security flaws in iOS 6.1, 6.1.1 and 6.1.2?

    Does the DoD allow Microsoft Windows computers - I guess, if they do (as I assume), then really it's anything goes.

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