Aussie spooks give BlackBerry PlayBook thumbs up

Defence Signals Directorate certifies PlayBook tablet for government use

RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet

RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet

The Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) has certified the BlackBerry PlayBook for use by the government. The DSD stamp of approval now means government agencies can use the device for accessing data classified as 'protected' or 'restricted.'

The DSD is the Australian intelligence agency tasked with information security and foreign signals intelligence (SIGINT).

The assessment process covered secure communication with BlackBerry smartphones and handling of classified data.

The DSD's cyber and information security consumer guide for the PlayBook states that the agency "was able to confirm the implementation of encryption for data in transit and data at rest.

It was noted that data transmitted between a BlackBerry PlayBook and a BlackBerry device is encrypted using AES."

The DSD also assessed the security of the tablet's 'BlackBerry Bridge' apps, including its email client, calendar, browser, notepad and task list.

RIM's BlackBerry Bridge apps allow the PlayBook to access information on a BlackBerry handset using Bluetooth.

Last month the DSD released a hardening guide for the iOS operating system used by Apple's iPad and iPhone.

That guide states that "At this time, DSD does not recommend iOS for use at the PROTECTED/RESTRICTED level. This guide is intended for use at UNCLASSIFIED and UNCLASSIFIED INCONFIDENCE."

The DSD is working with Apple to evaluate iOS, with the evaluation expected to be completed by September 2011.

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Tags securityRIM BlackBerryDefence Signals Directorate (DSD)PlayBook

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