The Social Security Administration seeks an industry solution to maintain service to its aging mobile equipment, according to a Nov. 19 solicitation posted to FedBizOpps.
The Defense Department will begin using its mobile device management system and mobile application store by the end of the year, said DoD Public Affairs Officer Lt Col Damien Pickart. Digital Management, Inc., the Bethesda, Md.-based contractor that won the contract June 27, will provide the department with initial operating capability no later than Dec. 31.
The U.S. federal government is a primary focus for Research in Motion, the Canadian company behind the BlackBerry mobile device. Recent comments from one RIM excutive show the market could be viewed as a lifeline for a company with an uncertain future. "I think this is an absolutely critical market for us," BlackBerry's Senior Vice President for Security Scott Totzke told Politico. "I think it's absolutely top of mind for everybody in the organization."
The Homeland Security Department's Computer Emergency Readiness Team issued a notification Oct. 9 that federal users and administrators review a BlackBerry Security Advisory released the day prior and take corrective action recommended by BlackBerry.
The National Security Agency can access user data on iPhones, Android devices and even BlackBerrys, which were once considered by many to have the most secure operating system, according to top secret NSA documents viewed by German newspaper Der Spiegel.
"Oftentimes, you're the first one there. You're going to have the best infomation. We wanted to give you a way to share that," said Craig Fugate, the head of FEMA.
BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets with BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, and devices using Samsung's Knox for Android are now allowed on Defense Department networks.
The Saudi Arabian government is demanding three mobile services-- Skype, WhatsApp and Viber--comply with the country's regulatory requirements or risk being banned. The move is reminiscent of August 2010 announcements from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. At the time, the countries blocked Blackberry-to-Blackberry instant messaging.
The Defense Department issued several statements to the media March 21 in an effort to quell rumors that it was ditching BlackBerry devices in favor of iOS devices. The confusion stemmed from a March 7 Electronista report claiming DoD would stop testing BlackBerry 10 devices as a way to avoid $5 million in spending. (The article, which cited "well-placed sources" has since been updated.)
The Office of Personnel Management says it plans to issue a non-competitive contract award to Sprint Nextel in order to ensure continuity of wireless services. Sprint Nextel is the only suitable provider because the company has handled the contract over the past two years and installed proprietary telecommunications systems in the Theodore Roosevelt Building, says OPM.