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Civilian agencies can get military-grade comm on standard Android phones

I used to love watching a show on The History Channel called “Tactical to Practical.” Host Hunter Ellis would examine military solutions to problems that crossed over into civilian life. For example, he showed how four-wheel drive vehicles in World War II became modern-day jeeps, or how GPS was used in Operation Desert Storm before exploding into everyday life.

As terrible as war is, one has to admit that it's a proving ground for technology. How advanced would we be today if America had decided to stay out of World War II?

So it was interesting to hear that Motorola Solutions, makers of a lot of back-end phone technology (and military radios during World War II) and Fixmo, a company that specializes in mobile security and risk management, were teaming up to bring military-grade secure communications to Android phones, complete with encrypted calls and data.

The product is called Mobile Device Management and Integrity Verification solutions for Android and will be offered as part of Motorola’s AME 2000 Secure Mobile Solution for the government sector. It's made up of two main components, the Fixmo Sentinel Integrity Verification Service, which makes sure two phones connect securely and remain so for the full transaction, and the Fixmo SafeZone Secure Workspace Solution, which lets users separate their personal and work communications into separate areas and assign different security levels to each one.

The entire package is not going all the way to the public, but is making the jump from strictly military applications to those in civilian agencies and law enforcement, where the need for secure communications is still quite great.

So you have Motorola providing the hardware and back-end expertise, and Fixmo adding its layers of security, just like with military customers.

Specifically, AME 2000 integrates a commercial smartphone running an Android-based operating system with advanced hardware and software security features, enabling encrypted voice and data communications as well as advanced policy management, compromise detection and compliance assurance. Government organizations can now expand their mobility deployments and take advantage of the latest Android platform and mobile apps while ensuring private communications and sensitive information remain protected and within compliance guidelines.

“Working together, Fixmo and Motorola Solutions provide government officials with the kind of mobile security that allows them to confidently take their devices on the road and outside the walls of a secured facility,” said Fixmo CEO Rick Segal. “By leveraging Fixmo’s unique ability to verify the state of each mobile device and to proactively prevent security and compliance breaches, AME 2000 customers can embrace the full potential of modern smartphones and real-time communications without sacrificing security, integrity, compliance or employee productivity.”

So I suppose we won't see this on an episode of “Tactical to Practical” quite yet, but it's still a great example of how technology designed for the military can expand to serve a larger audience, even if that entire audience is still within the government.

Posted by John Breeden II on Jul 31, 2013 at 3:59 AM


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