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[ISN] BlackBerry PlayBook Wins Security Clearance From Feds
By Eric Zeman
July 22, 2011
Score one for Research In Motion. While its PlayBook tablet may not have
scored a home run with consumers (or developers), it just got a big
thumbs up from the National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST), which granted it FIPS certification. No other tablet, despite
its success in the market, can lay claim to this title. The PlayBook
stands alone with the FIPS chip on its shoulder.
FIPS certification is required for devices to be used by the federal
government. This clears the PlayBook for use by government agencies, and
now means the PlayBook meets RIM's own stringent security requirements
for features such as native email and contact management. (Some have
speculated that the reason the PlayBook shipped without support for PIM
management was due to missing security tokens.)
"RIM is pleased to announce that the BlackBerry PlayBook is the first
tablet approved under FIPS for use within the U.S. federal government,"
said Scott Totzke, senior vice president for BlackBerry security at
Research In Motion, in a statement. "This certification demonstrates our
continued commitment to meeting the needs of security-conscious
organizations and enables the U.S. federal government to buy with
confidence knowing that the PlayBook meets their computing policy
requirements for protecting sensitive information."
While this is great news for RIM, it is unclear if this will actually
spur government sales. The U.S. government may make use of BlackBerrys,
which work well with the PlayBook, but the PlayBook still lags the iPad
and Android-based tablets in basic functionality and features.
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