Droids, iPhones Down Until Military Installs Cellphone Security

Tuesday, 03 Dec 2013 04:32 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Some in the military will have to disconnect their iPhones, iPads and Android-based devices and temporarily use old BlackBerry models while the Defense Department finishes a new mobile device management system.

According to the email obtained by Nextgov.com that was also confirmed by Pentagon officials, the new system will track and monitor government-issued smartphones used by the military, but the system is not ready to "go live" quite yet.

The smartphones in at least one Army organization had to be disconnected from their current security service as it gets ready to implement the new system by Fixmo Inc. The Defense Information Systems Agency is in the process of individually putting each branch of the military on the new $16 million system.

Those in the Army "have been told that between now and whenever this 'fixmo' is online, their Droids and iThings are simply to become useless," the email explained.

"Expectation is that Droid and iThing users will be device-less until March 2014 at the earliest, and they can either do without or go back to a BB 9930," which is the older BlackBerry model.

The goal is to have the newer Android and Apple devices used by 100,000 military personnel connected to the new security system by September 2014.

According to its website, Fixmo's mobile risk management solutions "continuously verify the integrity of mobile devices and apps, protect them from private data loss, monitor and track regulatory compliance and enable you to prove it through enterprise reporting and auditability."

Fixmo's technology has been developed as part of a research and development agreement with the National Security Agency, the website states.

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