Apparently, the German government is about to ban iPhones for BlackBerry devices in all official communications.
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In an interesting twist of events, the German government has decided that official matters of state are too important to be held on just any phone, ever since the NSA eavesdropping scandal surfaced. The interior ministry of the CDU (Christian Democratic Union) and the SPD (Social Democratic Party) have decided on “urgent” guidelines for ministers’ and top ranking officials using mobile phones.
According to German site local.de (quoting Bild), the iPhone will no longer be a device that will handle “official correspondence.” The BSI (Bonn federal office for information security) has drawn up guidelines and phones used by the government must be BSI approved.
And since the software developed by the BSI is not compatible with Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone, the conclusion of many observers is that soon iPhones will start disappearing from the German Parliament.
Spiegel reported a while ago that the German Chancellery and government ministries switched to newly developed crypto mobile phones that have been approved for use by officials in Berlin since September. So far, no foreign intelligence agency has succeeded in breaking the encryption on the phones, the German Interior Ministry claims.
The German firm Secusmart turns BlackBerry (BBRY) devices into ultra secure devices by installing an encryption engine via a micro SD card. Once installed, BlackBerry phones meet NATO requirements for classified communications.
And for all the fuss about Merkel’s phone being bugged, CEO Hans-Christoph Quelle of Secusmart said:
The high security solution from Secusmart for secure communication within the government was not affected. The Secusmart company’s encryption technique was developed together with security experts at the BSI (The German Federal Office for Information Security) and their security is openly documented. It’s based on the Secusmart Security Card, a micro SD card with an integrated SmartCard chip. This miniature crypto-processor takes care of the encryption of voice and data communication within the mobile phone including authenticating calling parties. Its 128-bit AES encryption enables 340 sextillion different keys-imagine 36 zeros after the number 340.
Theoretically, it would take 149 billion years to crack this code based on today’s technical standards, even with the use of special computers. The universe itself isn’t even that old. That’ll definitely keep the USA busy for a while.
According to sources, the German government has ordered about 40,000 BlackBerry Z10 phones so far, including one for Chancellor Angela Merkel. And if many people start using BlackBerry devices throughout the German government, this might lead to an intergovernmental trend towards Blackberry… one never knows.
BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY): The German Government Might Give An Unexpected Boost To BlackBerry – Seeking Alpha