recommended reading

Boeing Is Making a Spy Phone That Self-Destructs

360b/Shutterstock

Boeing has filed papers with the FCC to develop a smartphone for people in the business of secrets. The phone, simply called “Black,” will run an Android-variant operating system, be compatible with other technology, and—like any good spy phone—will self-destruct if you try to figure out its secrets.

This filing comes two years after the original news leaked that the company was working on the smartphone, which will support all the world’s major communications (GSM, LTE, and WCDMA), storage (USB, HDMI, SIM), and wireless (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi) standards.

What it won’t support is any snooping, journalistic or otherwise. Boeing is claiming that its hardware specs are exempt from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests because they contains “trade secrets” and are vital to national security. Anyone who is issued a Boeing Black will have to agree in a non-disclosure agreement to stay mum about the phone’s hardware, software, performance, applications, and anything else Boeing decides is “proprietary information.” And the filing has this message for anyone who tries to circumvent those bureaucratic channels:

The Boeing Black phone is manufactured as a sealed device both with epoxy around the casing and with screws, the heads of which are covered with tamper proof covering to identify attempted disassembly. Any attempt to break open the casing of the device would trigger functions that would delete the data and software contained within the device and make the device inoperable.

Boeing, primarily an aerospace company, is a huge contractor for US aircraft and combat systems, so it’s not terribly surprising that the company would move to develop a secure platform for mobile communications. What really prompted the need for the new phone, however, was BlackBerry’s nosedive. In 2013, Boeing still had over 40,000 employees using BlackBerries, and the secure platform has long been a favorite for both government employees and those who did business with it.

This article was reprinted with permission from Quartz. Read the original here.

(Image via 360b / Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

    Download
  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.