BlackBerry gets FIPS 140-2 nod

Research In Motion Ltd. of Waterloo, Ontario, yesterday announced that its Java-based BlackBerry wireless e-mail devices have received Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 cryptographic validation.

RIM's president, Mike Lazaridis, will give the FOSE 2003 keynote speech tomorrow at 9 a.m. at Washington's new convention center.

The FIPS 140-2 validation applies to the BlackBerry 6700, 6500, 6200 and 5800 models' encryption firmware. Earlier BlackBerry models won FIPS 140-1 approval in 2001.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology set the 140-1 standard in 1994 and its replacement, 140-2, in 2001. Federal agencies are required to use FIPS-validated encryption products for sensitive but unclassified information. The full list of approved cryptographic modules under both standards appears at csrc.nist.gov/cryptval/140-1/1401val2003.htm.

BlackBerry devices can operate over Code Division Multiple Access, DataTAC, Global System for Mobile communications, Mobitex and Nextel wireless networks, RIM said.

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