The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) uses a program “called Go Mobile meant to provide numerous communications, training, and collaboration applications to mobile soldiers,” Jon Oltsik reports for Network World. “Mobile device security is a critical requirement for this program so Go Mobile includes user authentication, secure data storage and transfer, secure device management, etc.”
“Initially Go Mobile was build [sic] for Blackberry devices but DISA is now adding support for Apple iPhones and Google Android phones because of high demand from users,” Oltsik reports. “Unfortunately, adding iPhone and Android support is more difficult than DISA anticipated. Why? Because both Apple and Google refuse to give DISA access to their security APIs so DISA had to do a series of workarounds to meet its security requirements. For example, DISA had to add an external Bluetooth device to provide secure personal networking capabilities because Apple wouldn’t provide API access to its iPhone security stack.”
Oltsik opines, “Hold the phone here! Apple and Google aren’t willing to provide additional technical support to the United States Department of Defense? Nope. One person I spoke with from DOD said that Apple flat out refused to play ball, telling DOD to ‘talk to our integrators and carriers.’ …The fact that DOD is going the extra mile and developing workarounds demonstrates that it is willing to do the right thing for American troops in spite of this lack of industry cooperation. It seems to me that Apple and Google are making self-centered bad decisions here that won’t play well with the American public. Clearly, Apple and Google should re-think these myopic and selfish policies. Providing API access to DOD is the patriotic and morale [sic] thing to do, especially since DOD is opening the door to lots of sales opportunities for both companies.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Jon, if you haven’t noticed, the U.S. government leaks like a sieve. Tool on over to WikiLeaks for proof. Apple is protecting the security of iOS; giving the U.S. government access is akin to publishing it on the Web for all to see. Providing API access to the U.S. DOD would be the foolish and irresponsible thing to do.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “dslarsen” for the heads up.]