UK intelligence agency 'recommends' BlackBerry for security; iPhones still banned

UK intelligence agency 'recommends' BlackBerry for security; iPhones still banned

Summary: A UK intelligence agency says the BlackBerry is secure enough to run in government. But who falls short on the security scale? The iPhone; still banned in government.


GCHQ's Communications and Electronics Security Group (CESG), part of the UK's intelligence agency network, which tests security for government departments and their devices, says that the BlackBerry device is secure enough for government operations.

Last year, the UK Government banned iPhones in all departments because CESG could verify its security and therefore cannot approve the device to handle sensitive government documents.

iPhones are still banned in government, because they are simply not secure enough, or not yet proved to be as such.

Specifically, the security aspect falls to BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which operates the corporate, non-consumer email solution, where India and many other countries with internal and domestic terrorism troubles are trying to ban.

No specific guidance has yet been issued for tablet devices. But, if the PlayBook offers the same level of encryption and security that the BlackBerry smartphone does, no doubt CESG will offer similar, if not the same level of guidance.

Government issued BlackBerrys use 3DES and AES for data traffic and AES to encrypt local data, assuring that data up to 'RESTRICTED' is protected from prying eyes and thefts; data that is not too damaging to national security or ongoing operations. 

If the BlackBerry is secure enough for the British government, it's certainly secure enough for businesses. Perhaps this in itself finally quells the long running myth that 'governments can tap into smartphones'. Certainly not all, it seems.

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Topics: Mobile OS, Hardware, Mobility, BlackBerry, Security

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  • Zack "forgets" to mention the reason why iPhone was banned, which has ...

    @samalie: ... <b>nothing</b> to do with security per se, but rather with Apple not wanting to share with UK government (or others) any information/code/etc on security matter.
  • India says it's the most secure

    And also India gave the thumbs up on security to Blackberry too. They wanted to ban it because the government couldn't spy on it.

    You can't get a better endorsement than a country whose government has been revealed as a corrupt and holding onto power by bribery.
  • RE: UK intelligence agency 'recommends' BlackBerry for security; iPhones still banned


    Since this article, as well as others I have read, state that neither Apple nor CESG have shared whether the iPhone fails security testing or merely hasn't been submitted for approval, on what do you base your statement that it is Apple not wanting to "share with UK government .... on securitymatter." ?
  • There were many articles about the matter with explanations

    @noagenda: for last year's banning.
  • What would happen if RIM ever went out of business

    What would they do then.