It is no secret that the government has been looking into secure modern mobile technology. From soldiers to the president, the government needs devices that will be able to keep all of their information private. Well, it seems like Android is the chosen one, and the government will start using smartphones like yours and mine.
The US government is planning to modify the Android OS (oh, the beauty of open source!) to make it secure enough for government use. The first to get dibs on said devices will be soldiers, but the plan is for all government officials to use smartphones at some point. And it is even mentioned that a similar software could be sold to private corporations who want to move out of BlackBerry.
So, why Android? US Officials say that they were considering other mobile operating systems. None of them were secure enough for military and government standards, though. After reaching out to Apple, the Cupertino giant gave them a big “no no” when the government asked if they could modify iOS (as expected). Since Android is open sourced, and is by nature available for everyone to tinker with, the most viable option could not be more obvious.
What is even more surprising are the statements that the sources are making public. The government is telling us that after Google releases a new version of Android, the update will be reaching these devices within 2 weeks. Now that is what we call a good update system, and we wonder if they would actually be able to pull it off.
This could mean two things; either the team working on this is stunningly amazing, or they are incredibly bad and do not know what they speak of. Android manufacturers take many months to update their devices, but with the government funding and pushing this, who knows.
The ultimate goal is to give war fighters, analysts and other intelligence professionals access to classified information on the go - boosting innovation in the field, efficiency and productivity.SpokeswomanNSAThis project is being funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects, and sources say that getting these smartphones in use is one of the main priorities. This will give soldiers and officials access to private documents and it will allow them to find their friendly units via GPS. These are only a couple of examples, as the government is also working on using VoIP to keep their conversations safe and private.
There is also mention of SE (Security Enhanced) Android. This is a software that is much less flexible for supporting new devices and updates. It might be the most secure option, but NSA Official Stephen Malley believes it will not be deployed widely, due to its nature.
So there you go, guys. Soon, our soldiers overseas will be carrying great devices, like they do at home. Not only that, but if the government is right, they will probably also have newer software than us. This project would not only be good for the military, every user that needs privacy would benefit from something like this. This should open a whole new market, helping Android spread even more. Think about it – Android could be the new BlackBerry.
What do you say? Do you think the government can update devices within 2 weeks of the software release?