BlackBerry 10 fails government certification? Not so, says the UK government

BlackBerry's new platform has not yet been tested for official government use, according to GCHQ - flying in the face of suggestions that it had been rejected by the department.
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

Reports that BlackBerry's new BlackBerry 10 operating system had failed to gain security clearance for government work were inaccurate, according to the government department responsible for issuing the certification.

CESG (the Communications-Electronics Security Group), a department within GCHQ, confirmed that the BlackBerry 10 operating system had not yet been certified for government use, but that it also had not failed the testing process. In fact, it has not yet even been tested.

"We are in ongoing discussions with BlackBerry about the use of BlackBerry 10 in government. We have not yet performed a security evaluation of that platform, but we expect to be issuing platform guidance in the summer, this will cover a number of platforms including BlackBerry 10 (and using Balance)," a GCHQ spokeswoman told ZDNet in a statement.

BlackBerry's previous platforms have previously received certification for government use, and GCHQ expects BlackBerry 10 to be no different.

"We have a strong security partnership with BlackBerry and this gives us confidence that BlackBerry 10 is likely to represent a viable solution for UK government," she said in a statement.

An update to the BlackBerry OS, 7.1, achieved certification for government use in November — 11 months after it was released in January 2012. BlackBerry 10 was released this January.

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