• BlackBerry 10 Awaits Approval For UK Government Use

    Yesterday saw a bit of a rollercoaster of BlackBerry news as tech sites reacted to news that the Guardian newspaper published about the UK Government rejecting the BlackBerry 10 solution as being insecure.

    This was surprising news to be me as the BlackBerry 10 operating system had already steamrolled through FIPS Certification before it had even launched.

    The Guardian continued to report that the Communications Electronics Security Group (CESG) had rejected BlackBerry 10 as not being secure enough for use within the government.

    Since then, the article has been removed from the website. The CESG have publicly stated:

    Discussions with BlackBerry are ongoing about the use of the BlackBerry 10 platform in government. We have not yet performed an evaluation of the security of the platform, but we expect to be issuing Platform Guidance in the summer. This will cover a number of platforms, including BlackBerry 10 (and the use of 'Balance').

    We have a long-standing security partnership with BlackBerry, and this gives us confidence that the BlackBerry 10 platform is likely to represent a viable solution for UK Government.
    What this boils down to is that the CESG are implementing new checking and platform guidance. As such BlackBerry 10, along with any other new mobile devices, will be required to follow new criteria to meet the security level of “restricted” that BlackBerry 7.1 devices currently meet.

    In fact, the closing paragraph in the CESG’s statement clearly states “The BlackBerry 10 platform is likely to represent a viable solution for UK Government.”

    Can’t be clearer than that, can it?

    In fairness to the journalist at the Guardian, Charles Arthur, he has categorically stated that he didn’t write the explosive line that claimed that the UK Government was rejecting BlackBerry 10 due to security concerns via Twitter:

    “it’s not the first line of the story, and the story nowhere says that. I don’t write headlines or “standfirst” (as that’s known)”

    Also, the statement from the CESG came after the article was published. Mistakes had been made, but the right thing was done by the original article being removed. As Charles Arthur is the main technology journalist over at The Guardian, I hope that the experience won’t put him off giving future BlackBerry news and reviews a fair viewpoint.

    In the meantime, we’ll wait to see if BlackBerry 10 achieves the necessary security certification or not to be used in the UK. The Guardian’s main point of the original article, that the UK public sector is a key market for BlackBerry is as relevant as it was yesterday morning.

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