BlackBerry 10 is secure enough for UK Government, stresses BlackBerry

Houses of parliament

BlackBerry has denied reports that its BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system has failed to meet UK Government security standards.

According to a report in the Guardian newspaper, which has since been removed, the Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG), part of GCHQ, has rejected BB10 as too insecure for essential work.

The BlackBerry 10 platform is likely to represent a viable solution for UK Government

If true, the report would have been a double blow for BlackBerry, who is banking on the release of its Z10 and Q10 devices to win back market share for iOS and Android, after the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency ditched BlackBerry almost five months ago.

However, both the company and GCHQ have rejected the Guardian's claims.

A BlackBerry spokesperson told IT Pro: "Media reports alleging that BlackBerry 10 has been rejected' for UK Government use are both false and misleading."

Referring to the BlackBerry 7.1 operating system, which preceded BB10, the spokesperson continued: "BlackBerry has a long-established relationship with CESG and we remain the only mobile solution approved for use at 'Restricted' when configured in accordance with CESG guidelines.

"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," the spokesperson added.

In a further statement to IT Pro, GCHQ said: "Discussions with BlackBerry are ongoing about the use of the BlackBerry 10 platform in government. We have not yet performed an evaluation of the security of that platform, but we expect to be issuing Platform Guidance in the summer.

"We have a long standing security partnership with BlackBerry and this gives us confidence that the BlackBerry 10 platform is likely to represent a viable solution for UK Government," it concluded.

  • This article was originally published on 20 March and updated on 21 March to reflect the fact that the Guardian removed its original report
Jane McCallion
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Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.