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

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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.


source: Reuters

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