BlackBerry PlayBook Voted In For U.S. Federal Use

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News Posted: Fri, Jul 22 2011 5:58 PM
Guess who is suiting up for battle? RIM. And we're not just talking about fighting the critics off; we're talking about actual battle. Granted, the BlackBerry PlayBook has yet to be approved for use on the battlefield, but it has been granted a stamp of approval for use within U.S. federal government agencies. RIM has a long history of providing enterprise-focused, highly-secured messaging solutions. It's possible that the company used inroads they already made in order to get this one qualified as well.


Unlike the iPad and any of the Android tablets around, the PlayBook is the first tablet to receive the FIPS 140-2 certification. According to RIM: "This certification ... enables the U.S. federal government to buy with confidence knowing that the PlayBook meets their computing policy requirements for protecting sensitive information." The PlayBook hasn't exactly been a runaway hit in the commercial world, but is there still enough enterprise business to keep the company in a positive position?
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rapid1 replied on Sat, Jul 23 2011 12:11 PM

I had heard about this coming. The article I had read a few months back was actually about iPads though. It seems some big companies hopped on the iPad train shortly after introduction for both the 1st one, and for the 2nd edition as well. However; most of that equipment is not actively used by anyone with true network permissions. This is because the Apple products in general will not work in a secure environment. So these were mentioned as coming for companies who wanted security. As a side not it was also noted that many if not all of the companies that bought them on the first round generally could not use them in networks as they would not work generally with the PC security products active in the network. So these and the Motorola pads were both being looked forward to as replacements.

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realneil replied on Sun, Jul 24 2011 11:50 AM

The only thing about the awarding of government contracts for equipment such as this is that you don't know if the device was chosen on it's merits, or if the decision is politically motivated. This is why I wouldn't take this as an endorsement for the Blackberry PlayBook.

The FIPS 140-2 certification is all well and good, but that's a government standard that's open to constant attack, and "Uncle Sugar's" PC's have been compromised before.

Time will tell if this works well for those that are forced to use it. We'll hear plenty from them if it turns out to be a POS. (or otherwise)


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acarzt replied on Sun, Jul 24 2011 12:22 PM

FIPS 140-2 just means this thing can legitly support certainly encryption standards.

We have to make sure all of our wireless equipment is FIPS certified which just means it can legitly support AES 256 bit encryption which is what WPA2 is based off of. And currently WPA2 is the most secure wireless standard available.

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uberfrank replied on Sun, Jul 24 2011 1:15 PM

Just have to see if there is a 140-3 certification for having to pay, carry and charge two devices instead of one (in case federal employees want messaging from this thing).

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