This is the kind of news you really can’t (or, should I say, don’t want to) make up. The Defense Information System Agency has just cleared the first ever Android device for use with secure unclassified communications. And it’s none other than the discontinued Dell Streak 5.
Armed with enhanced security features like remote wiping, device lockdown after too many incorrect password input attempts and remote access to “peripherals and security policy levels,” the DISA has been preparing the Dell Streak 5 for this moment for over a year now. Originally chosen in September of 2010, drafts of the Streak’s certification were started this summer.
So why did the government decide the Froyo Android 2.2 powered 5-inch slate was the device for them? According to DefenseSystems.com, the military “likes the form factor.” If government and military personnel are lucky, by this time next year they just might be using something as powerful as the Sidekick 4G. Or Cliq 2.
In all seriousness, it’s nice to see Android devices finally being cleared for government use. Back in the middle of October, it was outed that the NSA is working with Google to create a hardened kernel that would allow Android to be cleared for use with classified communications. The Dell Streak is not a part of that project. The new high security version of Android is expected to launch sometime next year. Until then, government workers, “Dude, you’re getting a Dell.”