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Pentagon approves Android device for Department of Defense, Apple still awaits clearance

Updated 4 years ago
Published Dec 28th, 2011 4:20PM EST

Research in Motion’s BlackBerry OS has been the platform of choice for the Department of Defense for many years thanks to RIM’s robust security. However, with the rise of Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS operating systems, the DoD may be moving away from BlackBerry devices. In a recent Security Technical Implementation Guide, the DoD approved the use of Android-powered devices by its staff, but the Dell Venue is currently the only phone that qualifies. The DoD states that a device must be running Android 2.2 and have the Android Market stripped from its core in order to be used by staff. Moreover, all web browsing must be done through a DoD proxy server and classified information cannot be sent, received or accessed by Android handsets. Apple’s iPhones and iPads are also being tested by the Defense Information Systems Agency, however due to Apple’s tightly controlled ecosystem, the devices have not yet been approved. Installing DoD third-party security software was more difficult on iOS than Android’s open-source framework. Additionally, government officials said they were uncomfortable with Apple’s ability to track its users’ locations.