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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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