The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), founded in 1901 as the nation’s first federal physical science research laboratory, launched a pilot program for the iPad 2.
NIST, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, will be testing 55 Pad 2s, the Wi-Fi 3G 64GB model.
“The purpose of the pilot is to determine how best to proceed to provide a managed, secure configuration for NIST users of these devices,” the agency declared on the Federal Business Opportunities website.
While security concerns have slowed down adoption of Apple devices at the federal level, the Cupertino company has gone to some lengths to make it easier.
Earlier this year, Apple submitted cryptographic modules to enhance iPhone security and iPad security to NIST-accredited testing labs as part of the validation and certification process required under the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002.
“People ask why Apple doesn’t seem to be in the [government] game; now it looks like they’re in the game,” said Randall Easter, director of NIST’s cryptographic module validation program told SearchSecurity.
The original call for bids requested five iPhone 4s but that was cut four days after the request launched. The winning bid of about $43,000 went to Videotape Products of Burbank, California.
Interestingly, those iPad 2s will all come equipped with smartcovers in government gray.