The U.S government has been warming up to consumer smartphones for some time. A couple months ago, the Pentagon announced that it will permit “the use of commercial products for classified communications for the first time.” Android handsets and iPhones are starting to be used in areas that previously didn’t offer security clearance.
In a world that has been ruled by Blackberry, the latest Samsung and Apple devices are about to be let into deeper parts of the government.
Just last week, we reported that Steve Wozniak had met with Megaupload’s founder Kim Dotcom to show his support. Now Wozniak is speaking out, and he isn’t very happy, offering some harsh words towards the U.S. Government’s Treatment Of The Megaupload case.
The federal government along with U.S. wireless providers will be rolling out a new Emergency Text Alert System this month. The service will be free and will provide geographically targeted wireless emergency alerts for life-threatening events such as: tornadoes, flash floods, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis, dust storms, extreme winds, blizzards and ice storms. The text alerts will be brief and will inform consumers to seek additional information or immediately seek shelter if necessary. You may have experienced such alerts via third party weather application or private services but this will be the first national service by the federal government and the wireless industry.
Carrier IQ’s not having a good day. The invasive keylogging software which comes installed on over 140 million Android, Nokia and Blackberry smartphones is embroiled in controversy, and it’s not just creepy… it’s probably illegal, and Senator Al Franken — who once grilled Apple over the so-called LocationGate — is now demanding answers.
There are a few red faces over at the Veteran’s Affairs Department headquarters in Washington. The day after they unboxed iPads for a pilot program, one of the tablet computers was already missing.
The iPad had not been issued to an employee and did not have any apps or information loaded on it, according to VA Chief Information Officer Roger Baker.
It sounds as if the thief seized an opportunity: Baker said that if the iPad had been formatted, the $50 million department-developed cyber security app would’ve been able to find it. The data service plan was cancelled as soon as it was discovered missing. Security footage hasn’t yielded any info about the theft that included another 21 computers.
Blog Next Gov reported the iPads will be loaded with an app of patient records as well as other apps. Those records will be downloaded only by doctors in encrypted form.
The hiccup is a small one in a 1,000 iPad-deployment. Baker said that while there are currently only 500 Apple devices (iPads and iPhones) in use at the VA, he expects the number of iPads to mushroom to a thousand and eventually tens of thousands. The VA has plans to roll out 100,000 tablet computers (Android and Apple) and in line with the U.S. CIO’s recently unveiled “Future First” plan to move to cloud computing.