BB10 receives high-level US use clearance as release approaches

BlackBerry 10
Government continues to be key for BB

News arrived Thursday that BlackBerry 10 had been granted an important government security certification, ensuring Research in Motion's new OS can be used in secure government settings.

BlackBerry 10's newly gained Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 security certification means that data stored on BB10 devices will be properly secured and encrypted straight from the OS' expected 2013 launch.

The security certification, awarded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is reportedly required for devices used in secure government settings where classified materials may be sent via mobiles devices.

The FIPS 140-2 certification designates that BlackBerry 10 devices may be used to transmit sensitive data classified as "restricted" and under, though "secret" and "top secret" data must be dealt with by other means.

BlackBerry 10 security setbacks

RIM's BlackBerry OS has historically been considered more secure than other mobile operating systems.

Nevertheless, private government consulting firm Booz Allen dropped BlackBerry from its dedicated servers in October in favor of Google- and Apple-run devices, despite those handsets not receiving the same security certifications.

Despite that and other setbacks, a RIM spokesperson reported in October that the device maker continued to work with upward of one million government customers in North America alone.

What's more, BlackBerry Security Senior Vice President Scott Totzke said in April that sales to federal agencies were rising.

BlackBerry 10 on the rise

With Thursday's news that BlackBerry 10 had received government security certification, the trend may continue.

"Achieving FIPS 140-2 certification means that BlackBerry 10 is ready to meet the strict security requirements of government agencies and enterprises at launch," RIM Vice President of Security Product Management Michael K. Brown reportedly said.

In October, Recon Analytics analyst Roger Entner told TechRadar that "the U.S. government was one of the last pillars of strength in terms of an entrenched user base that BlackBerry had," and that losing it could prove "a huge blow for BlackBerry."

Fortunately for RIM, the government seems to be giving the firm its backing.


Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.