DISA approves first Android device for DOD use

The Defense Information Systems Agency has certified its first secure mobile device running on the Android operating system.

The Dell Streak 5 smart phone/small tablet computer is the first handheld device using the Android 2.2 operating system to be certified for use in the Defense Department's secure but unclassified communications, said John Marinho, director of Dell enterprise mobility solutions.

Dell began working with DISA in September 2010 to provide a secure Android platform for DOD, Marinho said, noting the government’s growing interest in providing mobile devices to civilian and military personnel.


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DISA began working on drafts of the certification in the summer of 2011.

The approved Streak 5 includes a set of Android application interfaces designed to enhance the security of the device. Besides being able to transmit secure unclassified messages, the device can have its data remotely wiped in the event of loss or theft, Marinho said.

Other features include enhanced password protection such as the ability to lock the device down after multiple unsuccessful password entries. Administrators also can remotely control the peripherals and security policy levels on the device, he said. The government-issue Streak 5 also includes DISA-approved security provided by Good Technology’s Mobility Suite.

Although the Streak 5 is no longer available commercially, Dell is supplying it to DOD because the military likes the form factor, Marinho said. However, he added that the same capabilities and service can be delivered to other platforms running on Android.

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