When President Obama first took office he made headlines for requesting to keep his BlackBerry smartphone – no doubt free press for the company’s top notch security standards. President Obama has an even more encrypted device than most folks, but nonetheless he was able to keep using a BlackBerry. Other White House staffers also use BlackBerry smartphones, and have for more than a decade, but that may soon start to change.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. government is testing the use of Samsung and LG smartphones for White House staffers, too, though any potential deployment is still months away from happening. The news is particularly noteworthy mainly because it shows, perhaps, that LG and Samsung are able to meet the strict security standards that so far the government has employed BlackBerry for. It’s not new for the government to use other platforms – the Department of Defense in May 2013 approved the use of Samsung devices, too, but so far they haven’t been officially deployed to White House employees.
“We can confirm that the White House Communications Agency, consistent with the rest of the Department of Defense, is piloting and using a variety of mobile devices,” a spokesperson for the Department of Defense told The Wall Street Journal. Samsung has particularly tried to put a focus on security with its Knox security features, though a major security threat in Knox was spotted last December. LG told the news outlet that it had no idea that any pilot trials were occurring.
BlackBerry’s new CEO John Chen has said that he wants to take BlackBerry back to its roots, to focus on enterprise and government security, though by the time that happens both sectors may have already gravitated away from his company’s devices.