BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook approved for use on U.S. Department of Defense network

By Bla1ze on 2 May 2013 07:05 pm EDT

Some great news for BlackBerry today came via the U.S. Department of Defense. After having put the devices through testing, the BlackBerry Z10, BlackBerry Q10 along with the BlackBerry PlayBook, have all been approved for use on the U.S. Department of Defense networks when coupled with BlackBerry Enterprise Server 10

"The U.S. Department of Defense's strict security requirements are amongst the highest in the world, and this allows other government bodies to follow suit. The role of BlackBerry including devices and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 continues to be important and relevant for security conscious organizations."

Earlier this year, you may remember BlackBerry 10 became FIPS certified before it had even publicly launched, so the news of approval by the DoD might not be all that surprising to some. In any case, it's another nod to the security BlackBerry continues to offer built right into their devices. If you're looking for the full press release, you can jump below to view it.

Press Release

BlackBerry 10 Smartphones Approved for Use On U.S. Department of Defense Networks
WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(May 02, 2013) - BlackBerry® (NASDAQ: BBRY)(TSX: BB) today announced the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has approved BlackBerry® 10 smartphones and BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablets with BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 to be used on DoD networks. Working with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets have undergone successful testing through DoD labs leading to a subsequent listing on DISA's Unified Communications Approved Product List (UC APL).
The approval allows all DoD customers to use the BlackBerry® Z10 and BlackBerry® Q10 smartphones, and BlackBerry PlayBook tablets on DoD networks.
"IDC research shows that mobile security continues to be of utmost importance to government agencies around the globe," said Stephen D. Drake, Program Vice President, Mobility & Telecom at IDC. "The U.S. Department of Defense's strict security requirements are amongst the highest in the world, and this allows other government bodies to follow suit. The role of BlackBerry including devices and BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 continues to be important and relevant for security conscious organizations."
"BlackBerry 10 is ideal for our government customers because it offers a rich, highly responsive mobile computing experience, along with BlackBerry's proven and validated security model - a combination that's unmatched in the industry," said Scott Totzke, SVP, BlackBerry Security at BlackBerry. "This approval will enable DoD customers to connect their BlackBerry Z10 or BlackBerry Q10 smartphones to DoD networks and securely access assets from work, while enjoying the wealth of consumer-oriented functionality that BlackBerry 10 brings to market."
For more information about BlackBerry 10, please visit:
About BlackBerry
A global leader in wireless innovation, BlackBerry® revolutionized the mobile industry when it was introduced in 1999. Today, BlackBerry aims to inspire the success of our millions of customers around the world by continuously pushing the boundaries of mobile experiences. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, BlackBerry operates offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. BlackBerry is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ: BBRY) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: BB). For more information, visit
Forward-looking statements in this news release are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. When used herein, words such as "expect", "anticipate", "estimate", "may", "will", "should", "intend", "believe", and similar expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by Research In Motion Limited (BlackBerry) in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that BlackBerry believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Many factors could cause BlackBerry's actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including those described in the "Risk Factors" section of BlackBerry's Annual Information Form, which is included in its Annual Report on Form 40-F (copies of which filings may be obtained at or These factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on BlackBerry's forward-looking statements. BlackBerry has no intention and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. BlackBerry and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of Research In Motion Limited and are registered and/or used in the U.S. and countries around the world. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. BlackBerry is not responsible for any third-party products or service.


Reader comments

BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BlackBerry PlayBook approved for use on U.S. Department of Defense network


Sorry still not proficient in my BB10 keyboard. For all of us watching the stock, was there an announcement in whether they were allowing android and iOS devices too?

Posted via CB10

From what I read, Knox also got approved and DOD still has outstanding questions for IOS but they will probably get approved too in the next few weeks.

The iPhone has had ongoing problems with FIPS certification, namely their submitted cryptographic modules. I doubt seriously they'll receive approval anytime soon. They've been trying for quite some time, since 2011, yet BB10 is approved even before release.

Alright, while I do appreciate your comment here rotorwrench, and nothing you said is incorrect, but for the benefit of those who do not know, please understand that FIPS is specifically geared towards non-DoD items, and FIPS validation is entirely separate. Again I just want to make that a general comment to all who are interested in the topic, I find many people asking me about that in the past because of confusion.

Your posts have been excellent, informative and extremely accurate.
This is as much of a win for BB as anything.
I'm sure some minor negative news will come out in the coming weeks to create another buying opportunity thanks to all the short puts ending in June under the $12 strike.
Any word on playbook update oh wise one? :-)

Much appreciated. I would be intrigued about the upcoming PB10 update, I feel as though we all have a lot to look forward to when everything is ironed out :-)

They are but from what I've read out of there 600,00 devices a good 470,000 are BlackBerry devices. They are allowing ios and android, bit people have to remember there are some parts of the government that don't need as secure devices as others.

Posted via CB10

For what I hear, Knox has NOT been approved yet.
They went back to the drawing board ..... something was not right. They will be trying later in the summer ..... too little to late.

Again to clarify this for everyone, DISA will not approve Knox as an OS. Because of the platform it is running on is directly related to its security, individual devices must be approved with the Knox build present on the device. Knox HAS BEEN APPROVED, for running on Samsung models running the build.

Berry, what do you mean KNOX has been approved?

a) Samsung devices with KNOX are the only ones approved to be in the DoD?
b)Samsung new security feature "KNOX" is approved by the DoD?

As you pbly know Samsung has publicly stated that KNOX won't be ready for release till mid summer, although it is loaded on the Galaxy S4 its not activated. So my question is how can the DoD approve S4 for use when the security feature of KNOX is not even active yet?


Choice A. The phrase must be taken in its entirety in order to not confuse my statement. So for clarity I will express it as I have done other places: Those currently planned Samsung devices that have Knox-loaded de facto have been approved for operating in connection with DoD networks. We are not discussing at what operational level [aka operational security] this devices can handle information. Knox is a platform level security container [for all intents and purposes] on which Android will run. I am not sure what you are inquiring about "Knox is not even active" so the best I can try and answer that is to say, that just because something is not made available to the public does not mean it has not been tested. [Which it has...]

How come BGR isn't reporting THIS story? They certainly enjoyed stating that it was "another blow to BlackBerry" YESTERDAY when the news came out that the DOD approved Apple and Android.... So lame...

Try not to mention BGR on this site.
The BGR site will be dead within 5 years. Nobody goes there anymore.

Yes, those Samsung devices [current models] running the Knox-builds have been approved along with BlackBerry by DISA.

It's actually a mix of good news and bad news. Knox also got approved and IOS might also follow in the next couple weeks. IMO, I think this is more of a bad news since I expected blackberry to be approved but this is a big step for Samsung and it's terrible news that they will now be encroaching in blackberry's "untouchable" niche. Not good.

What do you guys think about this?

I don't believe so. Just yesterday everyone was suggesting that Blackberry still had a long way to go in getting BB10 approved. Once again the media are wrong. I see this as neutral to positive for BBRY.

And we have yet to see what level Samsung's approval will be. Not every DoD employee requires the highest level of security, so it's quite likely that Knox gets approved for less sensitive uses. Given that BES10 can handle most of these devices, they should be the front runner and a server side win would be the most lucrative of all.

Tomorrow will reveal more facts as well as more lies :D

Knox itself did not get approved; however, certain models running the Knox-build were approved [i.e. current Samsung models].

Guys Samsung is not approved , this is just WSJ way of trying to minimize BB's approval . don't you think Samsung would have an official press release on it , Especially after all the bad press they got about android security. try to find one !

Samsung will probably not have a press release on it since there is no benefit to them in doing so at this time. Again please refer to DISA documentation on the link provided below to see the approval that currently prepared Samsung devices with Knox-loaded are approved. Again I could discuss the process of approval, but I assure you I do not think you are looking at it from the correct angle. Android security, in a general/historical sense, is not the topic here. I ask you please refer to DISA sourced material before advising others on current device statuses.

Sure they were approved... They can all be managed through BES10 now.

But why would BSR remember that?...

No they have not. When approval comes for iOS and AndroidOS it will not be the same. DISA approval; yes. Approval for the same things; no.

Samsung Knox has been previously approved by other agencies as well but only in limited environments and with unclassified data. Those restrictions are not on BB10.

Approval WILL come for Knox but it is NOT approved yet. Samsung will issue a press release when it comes. It will not be approved for all the things a BB10 device is.

Correct, Knox is not approved, nor will it be approved as an OS. However, the current Samsung models with Knox-builds are approved to connect to DoD networks. Connecting is not the same thing as being able to operate with the same type of security parameters which should answer the first question that was asked...

Did iOS and the Galaxy get the approval or considered? I thought they were considering them for non-classified communication in some weeks.

This is huge,BB is king of the mountain ,others will get a share, but BB still excels and will get the lions share of the contract.I guess they won't be called the DEPT OF DUMMIES after all.God bless BB, and God bless America

Please work on your comprehension. From the article it mentions that the PlayBook is a tablet. It mentions this 3 times. You must have missed it.

You guys should have a read of what the iphone is allowed to do compared to BlackBerries. Apples products are highly restricted and are not allowed to connect to ANY secure DoD network for example.

DISA's Unified Communications Approved Product List;jsessionid=5PLpRCyBqWkdTDJs47jT...

Look up Apple and BB and click on APL Memo which downloads a PDF for the device.

The Z10, Q10 and PlayBook are not up yet and poking around it looks like the site may be updated once a week.

Apple is not yet approved, no doubt they will, but they have yet to be approved. Just clearing up some misinformation. Samsung Knox, and BlackBerry 10 were approved thus far.

Posted from my Zed10!

This is incorrect. So to clear up this misinformation there are a few Apple devices approved for limited uses; however, neither the more recent models.

I don't get it. How can they possibly be approved as well? Apple and Android? Are you kidding me? Who got paid off?

Feel free to add me 24EFEB55

Please see prior posts. "Approval" is not the same in every circumstance. The important question is "What have they been approved for?"

Why was there a delay ,they should have announced on the 25th of April,I gather it would be too much for them to give a helping hand ,stock wise,toBB,who exactly is shorting BB?Man if you own stock in BB you go through hell.

The process length of the process is indescribably painful and complex itself, but it will pay off!! ;-)

Wonderful news! This is the type of thing that BlackBerry has always aspired to. It is funny, some companies have fallen into their market position, BlackBerry has diligently worked towards their goal.

Posted via CB10

Great Job RIM !

Solute to the engineers and mangers who worked on BB 10 Security.

Solute to the security experts and Generals-In-Charge in DoD!

Predict the death of BYOD.

As far as I know if an organization meets the following two conditions it doesn't do BYOD. Rather it buys the most secure solution and devices for its mobile employees:

1. Need true security;
2. Does not have a financial problem.

For those that need true security but cannot afford, I suggest just don't allow mobile access yet or limit it to executive team and key personnel - and buy them devices and BES.

For decisions makers: Do not approve BYOD if you need TRUE security (instead of merely putting a security label on your organization's logo) - you would end up paying more or lose your job or even your entire business. If you still like to take the risk, then use BlackBerry Service 10 to manage your BYOD devices. Do not use other solutions; Do not use GoodLink - it doesn't provide a secure transport as BES does although it copies the BB architecture; GoodLink is a sold and re-sold and sold again product the original developers are gone and no one there knows about security.

if you're in the States, they're $200 for a 64 gigger on amazon,,, better get 1 before they release PB10,,, people will be tripping over themselves once that happens...

This is great news. High-Profile news and Departments/Businesses/Organisations like this announcing that BlackBerry 10 is suitable can go a long way in business terms for BlackBerry.

Blackberry Faithful

Let's have a straight statement from BlackBerry about which phones are approved for what. It is a big difference if classified data is allowed or not.

Posted via CB10

Why is blaze starting a post and not linking it to an earlier thread posted in the forums? Maan

Posted via CB10

Yeah!!!!!!!!! I knew that decision will be a done deal. When it comes to security BlackBerry is the King. Muah!!!! My BB. Go get the work done. LOL

I would be interested to know if the choice of phone is a personal one, meaning each employee can chose from a list of BBRY or Sumshang phones, within the DOD or you are told by your manager that you are getting allocated a phone.....anyone work for the DOD on this post? Would be nice if you get a choice, Touchscreen KB Z10 or Q10. I is lucky as I have Z10 and will get Q10 asap.

No mention of orders for the phones. This is good news though. Although would love to read about at what levels did BB10, ios, and Knox get to in terms of approval.

They all can be "Approved" but at what levels??

Posted via CB10

Sumshang Knox equipped S4 not available till DOD employees due for phone upgrade might jump at new BBRYs.....but who knows what deal BBRY has done behind the scenes to get their new product into the hands of DOD staff. BBRY has a few months up their sleeve to get in on the act.....or maybe.....juuuuust maybe BBRY already has done the deal.........we wait for the BBRY financial report in July with baited breath.

Awesome. I wonder if they will let me hook up my Z10 to bes haha. Then I wouldn't ever have to log into the computer to send emails and shit. AND I would be able to still use my phone as a personal device as well. I like.

Posted via CB10

Well gosh....why would they do this when they are gonna just simply dump all their BB's in the trash for i$hit and spamdroids?

I thought BlackBerry 10 was DOA? James Faucette said so and on January 2012 Jonathan Geller wrote BlackBerry is dead. What happened? How could these experts be so wrong? Who am I to believe anymore?

HA, I was just thinking that this time next year Apple will be releasing iOS7, and they will have to go through this all over again.

? iOS7 should be out in the next few months, going by Apple's traditional release schedule.

Posted via CB10 & loving it!

Some Interesting Comments from The Verge.
With Thanks to their original posters.

LOL??? Blackberry is the Gold standard in mobile security. They so own this space with their purchase of certicom and have 20 years worth of mobile patents. Apple has iTunes ($2.99 a song..yey!)

Posted on May 2, 2013 | 5:30 PM "

" So let’s sum it up.
German government chooses BB10 and Samsung
US government chooses BB10 and Samsung
UK and Canadian governments already chose BB10.
Italy and France all BB already..announcement soon
If not for Japan, BB10 would undisputedly dominate he G8.

Now add tens of million of BES10 annual licenses.. Blackberry going to kill it this year!

Posted on May 2, 2013 | 5:39 PM"

Thanks to therock1.

he is so right.

Um.. UK government approved ?, are you sure about this ?.

Official UK approval is the one thing I'm waiting for before starting a BB 10.1 and BES 10.1 trial. For the UK government and MoD to start using it it has to be 'CESG' approved which it won't be until late summer 2013. Although I'm very hapy that it is now 'DISA' approved which means 'CESG' approval won't be far off now...

Did ANYONE notice the wording? DOD has approved the Z, Q AND PlayBook running on 10.

Yes 10.. on the PlayBook... to me thats a serious eye opener... YES... the upgrade is coming and NO we are not abandoning the tablet scene.

Posted via CB10

No, I wouldn't get too excited about PlayBook's running on BES 10 as the can do that now with their current OS, but we can always hope..

Posted via CB10

As much as we love our BlackBerries, they still can't pass classified data. That is the domain of the Sectéra SMEPED from General Dynamics' C4 unit.