Android Phones And US Government
February 5, 2012 by staff
Android Phones And US Government, Some U.S. government officials, including members of the military, are expected to receive special smartphones this year that are authorized to send and receive classified documents.
The smartphones will run a modified version of Google’s Android mobile operating system, according to a CNN report, citing people involved with the project. The phones are being developed as part of an initiative involving multiple federal agencies and government contractors.
To keep costs down, the government plans to install the modified software on commercially available phones, instead of building special handsets. The goal is to create a device that will allow federal workers to securely send and receive top-secret government data on the go.
Government workers are currently banned from using smartphones to send classified documents, due to the risk of a security breach. Part of the worry stems from the risk of malicious applications, which have made way into the official Android Market in the past, and could be used to siphon sensitive information off a device.
Developers have completed a version that was approved for storing classified information, but not transmitting the data over a cellular network, CNN reported. Smartphones authorized for sending top-secret data are expected within the next few months.
The project is being funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Defense Department’s central research organization. The National Security Agency is charged with evaluating and signing-off on the software.
Federal officials also looked into creating a version of the iPhone fit to handle classified data, but were told they could not have access to the core of its operating system, Angelos Stavrou, an information-security director at George Mason University who is working on the project as a contractor, told CNN.
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