1. vlade31's Avatar
    And it continues...

    US alcohol and firearms regulator abandons BlackBerry for iPhone, other platforms | The Verge

    Via theverge.com


    RIM's mobile marketshare among US federal agencies has been dealt another blow with news that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives plans to swap out its entire fleet of BlackBerrys approximately 3,800 in favor of competing devices. The agency's chief information officer certainly didn't mince words in an interview with Politico, saying that the ATF would "delete the BlackBerry from the mix." As was the case with similar moves by NOAA and Halliburton earlier this month, the iPhone is set to be the big winner here, with the ATF selecting Apple's handset to replace 60 percent (or 2,400) of those units starting in March. The remaining 1,400 will be phased out and replaced with a mix of other smartphones, though the agency hasn't specified which mobile OS it will employ for those devices. The entire switch is expected to be completed within one year.

    "The government has been very comfortable with the BlackBerry model for 10 years," said Holgate. "Now we're looking to move beyond that." Whereas NOAA cited a need to cut costs as its reason for abandoning RIM, Holgate credits "ease of use and adaptability" as the primary motivation for embracing iOS. Speaking of which, it would seem the ATF's interest in Apple's technology extends beyond phones: Politico reports that a pilot program conducted by the agency involving 200 iPads is just now coming to a close.
    02-29-12 05:49 AM
  2. qbnkelt's Avatar
    Yah I read that last Tuesday. Of course I'm sure that by March this particular vulnerability will have been patched:

    Permission loophole gives developers access to iOS photo library and location history

    It would prove extremely risky for agents in the field to have a history of their locations and contact list available to an app developer, who might make the information accessible to anyone with the correct price. ATF deals with rather unsavoury individuals - suspects - who have deep pockets.

    Of course, the way to avoid this kind of thing from happening would be to disable access to the App Store or to disallow all apps except for agency apps.

    In which case the iPhone's many capabilities will be geared only to specific agency functions.
    Last edited by Qbnkelt; 02-29-12 at 06:21 AM.
    02-29-12 06:15 AM
  3. SnoozerBold's Avatar
    And it continues...
    Does this mean my Blackberry will stop working?!?
    02-29-12 06:29 AM
  4. app_Developer's Avatar
    ATF has some pretty interesting apps in development for their agents. I was just in DC last week working with another agency that is switching and again was reminded that one major issue is the NOC. Right now all their data goes through RIM's NOC. With the stock price falling so quickly, the government can't be sure who will own that NOC in 2013. And since RIM isn't American, the govt can't even block the sale of the NOC.

    This is one reason why the dept I work with is taking BB's away also, and is about to order the first batch of 2,000 iPhones.

    There will be policies on allowable use, etc. in this case, the primary use is 3 internal apps and more than 20 more apps have been requested by different internal groups.
    02-29-12 06:31 AM
  5. Economist101's Avatar
    Yah I read that last Tuesday. Of course I'm sure that by March this particular vulnerability will have been patched:

    Permission loophole gives developers access to iOS photo library and location history
    That certainly is an issue, but I think the real problem here is this, which we already know won't be fixed by March:

    BlackBerry BB10: Crucial new phones delayed until 'late 2012' | Mail Online

    Timing is everything. Does anyone believe that these organizations would be dropping BB if there platform was where it should be? I certainly don't.
    scorpiodsu likes this.
    02-29-12 08:00 AM
  6. Sith_Apprentice's Avatar
    RIM deserves to get beat up a bit. They sat back too long. They are down but not out as they say, and BB10 will bring a great deal of enthusiasm back to the brand. Keep in mind tech refreshes happen all the time, and as more agencies hit that refresh point prior to BB10 being released, more will switch away. Security IS important, but these agencies are likely using 3 year old technology (9000s at the latest) and BB OS 5. (3 years is the typical refresh cycle). Comparing OS 5 to Android or iOS and its VERY obvious who the choice will be.
    02-29-12 08:04 AM
  7. anthogag's Avatar
    Apple has well-funded lobby groups.

    This Holgate person said they were "very comfortable with RIM for 10 years". This means it's not that easy for Apple to sweet-talk government to stop using BlackBerry

    These trolls are so boring
    02-29-12 08:07 AM
  8. Sith_Apprentice's Avatar
    Apple has well-funded lobby groups.

    This Holgate person said they were "very comfortable with RIM for 10 years". This means it's not that easy for Apple to sweet-talk government to stop using BlackBerry

    These trolls are so boring

    That could also mean they didnt look to change anything.

    With MANY government agencies using BB5 and 6 devices it is no wonder they are switching. RIM needs to run a free upgrade to BB7/BB10 for companies. 100+ lines upgrade them all free or something.
    02-29-12 08:22 AM
  9. xandermac's Avatar
    Yah I read that last Tuesday. Of course I'm sure that by March this particular vulnerability will have been patched:

    Permission loophole gives developers access to iOS photo library and location history

    It would prove extremely risky for agents in the field to have a history of their locations and contact list available to an app developer, who might make the information accessible to anyone with the correct price. ATF deals with rather unsavoury individuals - suspects - who have deep pockets.

    Of course, the way to avoid this kind of thing from happening would be to disable access to the App Store or to disallow all apps except for agency apps.

    In which case the iPhone's many capabilities will be geared only to specific agency functions.
    So lock them down the same way their blackberries are locked down? Yeauh, bet they hadn't thought of that!...

    You really think that they haven't tested these things and know that they will meet their needs? Do people honestly thing the BB is the only platform secure enough to work for a federal agency? Isn't this the same thinking Mike & Jim had that is causing this mass exodus?

    Obviously there's more to iphone/android security than meets the eye.
    scorpiodsu likes this.
    02-29-12 09:06 AM
  10. Sith_Apprentice's Avatar
    So lock them down the same way their blackberries are locked down? Yeauh, bet they hadn't thought of that!...

    You really think that they haven't tested these things and know that they will meet their needs? Do people honestly thing the BB is the only platform secure enough to work for a federal agency? Isn't this the same thinking Mike & Jim had that is causing this mass exodus?

    Obviously there's more to iphone/android security than meets the eye.
    A) they CANT be locked down to the same level, and frankly that was an issue that caused people to dislike BBs. They say they cant do anything. Well yeah obviously if you disable everything they cant.
    and B) In the security rankings iOS by itself is garbage. But Android and BB are not significantly better. BB with BES IS significantly better than even Android and iOS with something like Good Mobile on them. There is an invisible line here, things that are "Secure enough" to work. Thats where Android and iOS fall. (when used in conjunction with something like Good Mobile).
    02-29-12 09:09 AM
  11. Economist101's Avatar
    Apple has well-funded lobby groups.

    This Holgate person said they were "very comfortable with RIM for 10 years". This means it's not that easy for Apple to sweet-talk government to stop using BlackBerry :eek
    Comments like this make it sound like you believe RIM has lost control of its own destiny.
    02-29-12 09:27 AM
  12. app_Developer's Avatar
    So lock them down the same way their blackberries are locked down? Yeauh, bet they hadn't thought of that!...

    You really think that they haven't tested these things and know that they will meet their needs? Do people honestly thing the BB is the only platform secure enough to work for a federal agency? Isn't this the same thinking Mike & Jim had that is causing this mass exodus?

    Obviously there's more to iphone/android security than meets the eye.
    CIOs are certifying Good Technologies as good enough. They don't need NIST approval to do that for their own departments.

    In field testing, the apps we developed are getting fantastic reviews from agents who say they make their jobs easier and faster. So apps are an issue here, too. One of the apps we wrote, and some of the apps I've seen from other developers, could not be executed well with the primitive BB6 and BB5 APIs. Of course we could have built them probably with Cascades and BB10, but agents want these things this year, and there is a process.
    02-29-12 11:05 AM
  13. qbnkelt's Avatar
    So lock them down the same way their blackberries are locked down? Yeauh, bet they hadn't thought of that!...

    You really think that they haven't tested these things and know that they will meet their needs? Do people honestly thing the BB is the only platform secure enough to work for a federal agency? Isn't this the same thinking Mike & Jim had that is causing this mass exodus?

    Obviously there's more to iphone/android security than meets the eye.
    Yes, actually, I do believe that they will have to be locked down considerably to disallow unfettered access to the App Store and the Android Market. Actually, that is exactly what they have done in specific pilot programs.

    Out of the box, yes, BB on BES is the most appropriate platform secure enough to go behind secure firewalls.

    http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-02-...d-exposed.html

    Which is the reason that these platforms will indeed need to be modded to be able to go behind the firewalls.

    Not all agencies are the same. And the vulnerability I quoted, along with the iMessage bug, should give secure agencies quite a lot of pause.

    http://gizmodo.com/5881698/apple-exp...e-imessage-bug


    They will require mods to the platform. Or at the very least locking these devices down to the point that they will not resemble the iPhones or Androids that consumers use.

    An Android running in a pilot program in a secure agency will bear little resemblance to the one in my purse right now. Anyone who thinks otherwise is extremely naive.
    Last edited by Qbnkelt; 02-29-12 at 11:31 AM.
    meske likes this.
    02-29-12 11:09 AM
  14. Rootbrian's Avatar
    If itzks not secured properly or locked down, they're gonna have allot of breaches and leaks.
    02-29-12 01:14 PM
  15. Bla1ze's Avatar
    It means your Blackberry will no longer work as a roach clip.
    I quit life.
    avt123 likes this.
    02-29-12 01:17 PM
  16. Adam Zeis's Avatar
    I quit life.
    +1

    10char
    02-29-12 01:21 PM
  17. Rob1's Avatar
    RIM deserves to get beat up a bit. They sat back too long. They are down but not out as they say, and BB10 will bring a great deal of enthusiasm back to the brand. Keep in mind tech refreshes happen all the time, and as more agencies hit that refresh point prior to BB10 being released, more will switch away. Security IS important, but these agencies are likely using 3 year old technology (9000s at the latest) and BB OS 5. (3 years is the typical refresh cycle). Comparing OS 5 to Android or iOS and its VERY obvious who the choice will be.
    Guys - the damage has been done.... even when RIM released BB10 - are those who switched to Apple going to switch back overnight?

    RIM will only attract those who are still using a blackberry/other and haven't upgraded. Is this the target market?

    Most users, even corporate are on 2 - 3 year contracts.

    Cheers
    02-29-12 01:30 PM
  18. meske's Avatar
    When the NSA, CIA and FBI start using iOS and Android devices for anything more than a honeypot, let me know and I'll switch.
    02-29-12 01:43 PM
  19. app_Developer's Avatar
    When the NSA, CIA and FBI start using iOS and Android devices for anything more than a honeypot, let me know and I'll switch.
    I doubt most of us will ever know exactly what the intelligence community uses in all their different functions.

    But I know for a fact that FBI and the rest of DOJ are concerned about the NOC issue, and so they are looking at options.
    02-29-12 02:03 PM
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