U.S. and Canadian agencies are working to make BlackBerry devices even more secure, in hopes of allowing government officials to use them in a crisis.
Research in Motion’s handhelds and smartphones are the leaders in “push” email, in which messages are delivered to users as soon as they arrive on the email server.
While many business executives may feel it’s important to get the information they need instantly, it’s even more critical for military officers and government officials, especially in a crisis situation, like a terrorist attack.
The problem is, of course, the fact that the governments don’t want top secret messages being intercepted by terrorists or other hostile forces.
Initially, efforts are centering on making email more secure through the use of public key encryption, but researchers later hope to make the BlackBerry’s voice functions more secure.
The U.S. and Canada are working together on this project because they hope to be able to co-ordinate actions in the case of a large-scale emergency, according to Globeandmail.com.
This project is being carried out by the U.S. National Security Agency, Defense Research and Development Canada, and the Canadian Communications Security Establishment. RIM itself is uninvolved, and was even unaware of the project until contacted by Globeandmail.com.
This is a long-term project, so results won’t be available for quite some time. The initial trial will go on for a year, then data analysis and possibly more development could take a year or so more.