British government disputes reports that it rejected BlackBerry 10 for security reasons
BB10 'likely to represent viable solution,' UK security group says in response to Guardian story
Computerworld - A British government security group said Wednesday that it hasn't yet evaluated the security of BlackBerry 10 devices such as the Z10.
The UK Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG) statement was issued following a report Tuesday in the Guardian newspaper that it had rejected the BB10 and its Balance software over security worries.
In a statement on its Web site, the CESG concluded that its security history with BlackBerry "gives us confidence that the BlackBerry 10 platform is likely to represent a viable solution for the UK government."
The CESG didn't reference the Guardian directly but said it issued the statement following press reporting about the security of the BlackBerry 10 platform. The Guardian report, first published late Tuesday EDT, was headlined, "BlackBerry software ruled not safe enough for essential government work ... CESG rejects BB10 software in new Z10 handset, dealing blow to Canadian firm in key market."
BlackBerry quickly called press reports that the BB10 had been rejected as "false and misleading."
In a statement emailed by a spokeswoman, BlackBerry said the BB10 had already won a vital security clearance from the U.S. government for FIPS 140-2 certification and had been picked by the German Procurement Office and Federal Office for Information Security.
The full CESG statement, BlackBerry 10 in Government, follows:
"Following press reporting on 20 March 2013 about the security the BlackBerry 10 platform, CESG has issued the following statement:
"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."
The full emailed statement from BlackBerry follows:
"Media reports alleging that BlackBerry 10 has been 'rejected' for U.K. government use are both false and misleading.
" BlackBerry has a long-established relationship with CESG and we remain the only mobile solution approved for use at 'Restricted' when configured in accordance with CESG guidelines. This level of approval only comes following a process which is rigorous and absolutely necessary given the highly confidential nature of the communications being transmitted. The current re-structuring of this approval process, due to the Government Protective Marking Scheme review and the new CESG Commercial Product Assurance scheme has an impact on the timeline for BlackBerry 10 to receive a similar level of approval.
"The U.S. 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 U.K. government."
The Z10 has been on sale in the UK since last month and goes on sale in the U.S. on Friday friom AT&T and a week later from Verizon Wireless.
T-Mobile has said it is fulfilling orders for the Z10 from businesses, while Sprint said it will carry the Z10's cousin, the qwerty Q10, at a future date.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sprint to resell Google Apps for Business cloud service
- Samsung's S5 mini: Slimmer and slower than S5, but still scans fingerprints
- Privacy-focused Blackphone starts shipping to early adopters
- Why you shouldn't buy the Amazon Fire phone
- A closer look at the new technologies in Amazon's Fire smartphone
- Amazon's Fire phone is 'Prime' example of customer first
- Amazon's expected smartphone already faces skeptics
- Update: Tizen OS declared 'dead in the water'
- LG's new G3 smartphone: Simpler is better
- LG G3 sports quad-HD screen and laser autofocus
Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.
- What is this "File Sync" Thing and Why Should I Care About It? All of a sudden, getting a file from your work laptop to your iPad became as simple as clicking "Save." So it's no...
- The 5 Big Lies About Going Mobile You've heard about the power of mobile to change your business. But have you realized your mobile potential? It's about much more than...
- BYOP: How Mobile and Social Are Creating New User Personas The digital world of mobile + social creates new customer segments and behaviors. Companies need to reorient their customer interactions around these segments...
- Software Asset Management: Ensuring Today's Assets Today's trends like BYOD and SaaS are new and exciting in terms of how they will help make our jobs more productive but...
- Why do you need an enterprise mobile platform? Today companies must offer great apps that run on a range of devices, and connect to an exploding set of backend data. Appcelerator...
- Technology for Everyone A Kansas school district modernizes teaching and learning and paves the way to a one-to-one program with a comprehensive upgrade of its wireless... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts