BlackBerry denies reports BB10 is unfit for government use
Not all stories are the same of course, but every so often there comes a story based on a story that never was.
This turned out to be the case when The Guardian published an article on March 19 (now removed, so clicking the link will only lead you to a 404) headlined “BlackBerry software ruled not safe enough for essential government work”.
In the article, it was reported that after BlackBerry 7.1 was accepted by the Communications Electronics Security Group (CESG) at all levels up to ‘Restricted’ information, Balance, a specific enterprise tool for BB10 designed to separate personal and work content, had been rejected by CESG.
The report noted: “Missing out on government business could cost BlackBerry millions in lost revenues, even if rivals are unable to fill the same security space.”
However, both BlackBerry and CESG have issued statements distancing themselves from the original report, with the Guardian subsequently printing a retraction.
BlackBerry said in a statement: “Media reports alleging that BlackBerry 10 has been ‘rejected’ for UK government use are both false and misleading.
“The US government’s FIPS 140-2 certification of BlackBerry 10 and the selection of BlackBerry 10 by the German Procurement Office and Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) underline how our new platform continues to set the standard for government communications.
“We are continuing to work closely with CESG on the approval of BlackBerry 10 and we’re confident that BlackBerry 10 will only strengthen our position as the mobile solution of choice for the UK government.”
BlackBerry cited a change in the UK approval process as the reason why BB10 hadn’t been ticked off yet.
“Discussions with BlackBerry are ongoing about the use of the BlackBerry 10 platform in government,” the CESG said in a statement on its website. “We have not yet performed an evaluation of the security of the platform, but we expect to be issuing Platform Guidance in the summer.
“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.”
Antenna Software’s Dan Zeck called BlackBerry Balance a “really strong play” for the enterprise when speaking to Enterprise AppsTech last month.
Despite everything that’s happened, it would appear that Whitehall workers will be using BlackBerries, if all the hoops are successfully jumped through.
This wouldn’t be as much of a blow therefore for the Canadian handset maker, even though back in November UK government departments were given approval to use iDevices in sensitive email communications.
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