The amount of stuff we trust to fly in and out of our smartphones is astounding. Just look at what happened when a couple of reporters got access to an unwitting (and rather unlucky) Apple employee’s iMessages alone — within days, they learned more about him than most people know about their closest friends.
Now, imagine all the stuff that could fly in and out of a government official’s phone, or that of a highly-ranked member of the military. Forget saucy texts and booty pictures — we’re talking about state secrets, here.
Looking to keep their secrets underwraps while on the go, the U.S government is working on a build of Android custom-tailored to meet their security requirements.
Word of the project comes from CNN, who notes that U.S. officials/soldiers aren’t currently allowed to send any classified data over their smartphones. If they need to transmit anything that might sink ships (so to speak), they currently need to find a secured (generally meaning hardwired) line hooked to an approved device.
Here’s the gist of the project:
Most of the project’s details are still underwraps, but this is all still rather interesting. What hardware might they use? If DARPA makes any substantial security improvements to Android’s kernel, might that work make it back to the official branch? Might this work eventually be monetized (remember, Siri was born as a DARPA project) and offered to enterprises looking for a locked-down version of Android — and what does that mean for RIM/BlackBerry?