updated 01:05 pm EST, Wed February 1, 2012
BlackBerry 7, 7.1 phones earn government nod
RIM said Wednesday that BlackBerry 7- and 7.1-powered devices have earned a coveted FIPS 140-2 certification. The standard means they can now be used by the US and Canadian governments, as they meet stringent security stipulations as outlined by the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA). The current devices that comply include the Bold 9900, 9930, and 9790; the Torch 9850, 9860, and 9810; and the Curve 9350, 9360, 9370, and 9380.
The certification is recognized equally by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC). The devices already received the Common Criteria EAL4+ certification in November, and the PlayBook tablet earned FIPS 140-2 back in July.
The announcement could be crucial to RIM, which is looking to focus on upgraders rather than those coming from rival platforms. Although home users are now a major part of its business, its most reliable base has always been in corporate and government areas, where some companies still mandate a BlackBerry. Workers would now have a much more recent platform.