First Android device certified for Pentagon personnel

The Defense Information Systems Agency has certified its first secure mobile device running on the Android operating system.

The Dell Streak 5 smart phone/small tablet computer is the first handheld device using the Android 2.2 operating system to be certified for use in the Defense Department's secure but unclassified communications, said John Marinho, director of Dell enterprise mobility solutions.

Dell began working with DISA in September 2010 to provide a secure Android platform for DOD, Marinho said, noting the government’s growing interest in providing mobile devices to civilian and military personnel.

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DISA began working on drafts of the certification in the summer of 2011.

The approved Streak 5 includes a set of Android application interfaces designed to enhance the security of the device. Besides being able to transmit secure unclassified messages, the device can have its data remotely wiped in the event of loss or theft, Marinho said.

Other features include enhanced password protection such as the ability to lock the device down after multiple unsuccessful password entries. Administrators also can remotely control the peripherals and security policy levels on the device, he said. The government-issue Streak 5 also includes DISA-approved security provided by Good Technology’s Mobility Suite.

Although the Streak 5 is no longer available commercially, Dell is supplying it to DOD because the military likes the form factor, Marinho said. However, he added that the same capabilities and service can be delivered to other platforms running on Android.

About the Author

Henry Kenyon is a contributing writer for Defense Systems.

Reader Comments

Fri, Nov 11, 2011

How about data wiped after 3 mistake on typing passwords?

Fri, Nov 4, 2011 Dave K

Yet another example of following acquisition policies designed for 20 year life-cycle weapon systems when buying IT: "Although the Streak 5 is no longer available commercially, Dell is supplying it to DOD because the military likes the form factor..." So the value of using COTS is voided because now it's going to be produced for the DoD only!

Wed, Nov 2, 2011 Matt

Seriously? The first DISA approved device is one that has been discountined for more than a year? I certainly hope the last sentence of this story holds true. Although considering how much the government likes Blackberries - whose company appears intent upon tanking themselves - I'm not holding my breath.

Wed, Nov 2, 2011 James

Did you mean the Dell Streak 7? As far as I can tell, the 5 has been discontinued.

Tue, Nov 1, 2011

Remote wipe eh? Steal it. Turn it off. Take it into any underground parking deck in D.C. where there is no signal and use another device to rip all data off. Done.

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