BlackBerry denies BB10 has failed UK gov’t security standards

20 MAR 2013

BlackBerry has denied reports that its BlackBerry 10 OS has failed to meet UK government security requirements.

The Guardian reported that BlackBerry 10 and the BlackBerry Balance software, which separates work and personal accounts on the device, failed to meet the same security requirements that BlackBerry 7.1 met in December last year.

However, a BlackBerry statement said: “Media reports alleging that BlackBerry 10 has been ‘rejected’ for UK government use are both false and misleading.”

It said the company remains the only mobile platform approved for ‘restricted’ access — two levels below ‘secret’ — according to the UK’s Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG) guidelines.

It added that this level of approval “only comes following a process which is rigorous and absolutely necessary given the highly confidential nature of the communications being transmitted”.

BlackBerry also said the restructuring of the approval process “due to the Government Protective Marking Scheme review and the new CESG Commercial Product Assurance scheme” will impact the time it takes for BlackBerry 10 to receive the same level of approval.

It noted that BlackBerry 10 has been awarded the US government’s FIPS 140-2 certification and was selected by the German Procurement Office and Federal Office for Information Security.

The CESG said that its discussions with BlackBerry regarding the use of BlackBerry 10 in government are “ongoing” and that it has “not yet performed an evaluation of the security of the platform”.

It added that it expects to issue Platform Guidance in the summer for BlackBerry 10 and the use of Balance. It also expressed confidence that BlackBerry 10 will “represent a viable solution” for UK government.

BlackBerry launched its critical new OS with the Z10 smartphone in January with hopes of returning to success after several years of losses. Missing out on business with the government and the NHS could hit the company hard, with millions in lost revenue.

  • Rob Shaw

    The article seems a bit premature given the statement on the CESG web site:

  • charlie2010

    Is every media outlet going to give the Guardian a pass and still try and bash Blackberry?

  • charlie2010

    So was the Guardian caught lying or not?….I think media outlets are too embarrassed to admit they re-published lies.

  • respighifan

    Way to go. Publish an article based on lies that you read somewhere else. The Guardian retracted the bs article – how about you kindly update yours with a new headline – and while you are at it, how about fact-checking once in a while?

  • recompile

    You’re a bit late. The Guardian retraced their disturbingly false report before you posted this.

    You may want to post a retraction as well.

  • Thanks for your comments. Our original article was updated as soon as we received official comment from BlackBerry and the CESG (new headline and body copy was published within two hours of the original story’s posting). We believe our story above is a fair and accurate representation of yesterday’s events.


Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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