Pentagon officials allowed to use Android

US Department of Defense officials that need a mobile device are no longer restricted to using a BlackBerry, reports Muktware. The Pentagon has now also allowed the use of Android, but only if it runs on Dell hardware, and only if it’s version 2.2 of the mobile platform.

The decision has been made by the Defense Information Systems Agency, and was influenced by many factors.

First of all, Android is open source. It can be easily configured by users, and Pentagon’s IT employees can add to it security measures and monitor its policy levels remotely.

Second, it offers the option of automatic locking down after a few unsuccessful attempts of entering passwords.

The reasons why the DISA has not approved the use of Apple’s iPhones and iPads are multiple: Apple tightly controls the iOS platform, and doesn’t allow rifling through its source code and changing it.

Those devices have also built-in GPS chips, so the location of the person operating the device is always known to Apple, and much of the information from them is sent to the iCloud which is, again, controlled by Apple.

Lastly, the company has not exactly been known for its speed when it comes to fixing security bugs. With Android being open source, DoD employees or contractors can solve these problems much sooner by looking under the hood and changing the code.

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