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Pentagon to Open Communications Networks to Apple Devices in 2014

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,421
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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.
The implementation plan establishes a framework to equip the department's 600,000 mobile-device users with secure classified and protected unclassified mobile solutions that leverage commercial off-the-shelf products, promote the development and use of mobile applications to improve functionality, decrease costs, and enable increased personal productivity.  The plan orchestrates a series of operational pilots from across the DoD components that will incorporate lessons learned, ensure interoperability, refine technical requirements, influence commercial standards, and create operational efficiencies for DoD mobile users.
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
 

Mobster1983

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2011
635
456
About damn time. I hate hate hate having to carry a Blackberry around all the time along with my personal iPhone.
 
Comment

el-John-o

macrumors 65816
Nov 29, 2010
1,362
508
Missouri
So it's a classified unclassified network?

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.
 
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ThunderSkunk

macrumors 68040
Dec 31, 2007
3,015
2,601
Milwaukee Area
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.
 
Comment

Yelmurc

macrumors regular
Apr 16, 2008
219
58
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.
 
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pimentoLoaf

macrumors 68000
Dec 30, 2001
1,976
1
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!"
 
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flat five

macrumors 603
Feb 6, 2007
5,577
2,654
newyorkcity
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.

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..
:rolleyes:

----------

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 sayin..you know?
 
Comment

japanime

macrumors 68020
Feb 27, 2006
2,139
2,395
Japan
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:
 
Comment

Puevlo

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2011
633
1
Enjoy having your secret service contacts accessed by people using the emergency number bug.
 
Comment

RolyPolyBird

macrumors regular
Aug 13, 2010
208
0
"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.
 
Comment

katewes

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2007
431
106
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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