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Samsung and FBI close to deal on Galaxy phones for the G-men; new deal would replace BlackBerry units

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Samsung and FBI close to deal on Galaxy phones for the G-men; new deal would replace BlackBerry units
The FBI has over 35,000 employees, most of whom were issued BlackBerry handsets. But there is a change coming as Samsung has been in talks with the domestic crime-fighting agency to sell them its Galaxy line of devices. A deal this size would be another nail in the coffin of the Canadian smartphone manufacturer which has seen a huge loss in business from governmental agencies. Last October, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) and its 17,600 workers ended a relationship with BlackBerry to switch to the Apple iPhone.

It isn't clear if Samsung will be replacing all BlackBerry units now used by the FBI, or whether some 'Berry phones will remain in use. The FBI did not offer a comment. Another published report late Thursday said that Samsung was working on a similar, albeit smaller deal with the U.S. Navy.

Samsung has developed a layer of software that runs on top of Android that allows certain business-style applications to run securely. But according to Rob Enderle, principal analyst with Enderle Group, despite the use of the Samsung Knox software, Android is not a secure system. In a letter to the FBI, U.S. Representative Kenny Marchant of Texas said he was concerned about the FBI using Android with Knox on top. In his letter, the Representative said, "I understand that the FBI may be considering a new solution that is a patchwork of technologies stitched together. I am concerned that this approach may prove to be more costly than other alternatives." In May, the Samsung Galaxy S4 received Defense Department security approval, something also received by BlackBerry 10.

"If you are going to tackle security, you kind of have to do it throughout the entire platform. It's not that Samsung doesn't want to - it is that they don't own the operating system so they cannot. If you're going to sell into government, you have to be able to provide a secure solution and Android isn't it yet."-Rob Enderle, principal analyst, Enderle Group

source: Reuters

14 Comments
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posted on 19 Jul 2013, 23:42

1. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5712; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Just the latest (in a long line of) example of how BB/RIM lost their franchise. The security market has moved on - way beyond BB.

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 23:44

2. james004 (Posts: 471; Member since: 15 May 2013)


dont like samsung too much but atleast they are providing some sort of security in their version of android

posted on 19 Jul 2013, 23:57 2

3. thelegend6657 (unregistered)


Why not use BBZ10 ?

posted on 20 Jul 2013, 01:38 18

4. saffant (Posts: 218; Member since: 04 Jul 2011)


Cuz the S4 destroys that phone.

posted on 20 Jul 2013, 08:33

5. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6363; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Nothing is a secure phone people.

posted on 21 Jul 2013, 01:36

9. JC557 (Posts: 1025; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


And if they want corporate level encryption maybe they should seek out Motorola/ Google considering how hardened the previous Motorola handsets have been.

posted on 20 Jul 2013, 09:17 1

6. phyxius (Posts: 11; Member since: 10 May 2013)


I love Samsung, but the Android is not secure enough like Apple; when it comes to National Security maybe this should be reconsidered.

posted on 20 Jul 2013, 11:16 2

8. joey_sfb (Posts: 2869; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


oxymoron phyxius.. android is open source so the FBI could check under the hood for spy codes then add custom codes for extra layers of security.

posted on 21 Jul 2013, 01:37

10. JC557 (Posts: 1025; Member since: 07 Dec 2011)


refer to my comment regarding Motorola.

posted on 20 Jul 2013, 09:17 1

7. PAPINYC (Posts: 2268; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


Ha, I'd like to get my hands on the latest Samsung Galaxy "G"!!

posted on 21 Jul 2013, 14:41 1

13. joey41 (Posts: 45; Member since: 01 Aug 2012)


Think about sgsg!

posted on 21 Jul 2013, 06:46

11. jameshoe (unregistered)


No way, I hack Sammy device as easy as jailbreak

posted on 21 Jul 2013, 10:26 1

12. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Just an FYI, these phones will not be your normal everyday Androids. As for secure, the analyst is full of b.s., as with it being open source, the gov't will have a different version of the Android OS, specifically made.

posted on 21 Jul 2013, 19:23

14. HeWhoDoesNothing (Posts: 157; Member since: 15 Jul 2013)


Now they won't be able to concentrate on the important work... They'll be staring at that beautiful screen all day...

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