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'Neutered' iPads debut at U.S. government

Posting in Government

iPads stripped of their bells and whistles have been approved for use by the U.S. government.

CACI International Inc. has taken the iconic tablet computer, the iPad, and made it suitable for work within the security-conscious U.S. government, according to Bloomberg. "Thousands" of Apple's tablets have been altered so far to make them more secure, not by changing the software, but the hardware.

Dan Allen, CACI's chief executive officer, told the publication that the finished product is basically a "neutered iPad," and the firm is currently discussing "how to effectively brand it." The Arlington, Virginia-based firm says that by removing hardware features considered a potential risk to security -- such as Wi-Fi and camera features -- the tablets can be made secure enough that confidential data cannot be stolen, and images cannot be taken.

Allen also said that iPads currently used within the U.S. government were "most likely a product that either came from us or came from someone we work with."

Although CACI declined to comment on exactly what changes have taken place in the neutered iPads, being able to tailor tablets for governmental use may become a threat to BlackBerry, which has long held a place in governmental settings due to mobile encryption and security levels. However, Google's Android is also gaining traction in military and governmental settings, as the Defense Department announced last year it planned to open its networks to both iPhones and Android-based smartphones.

Adopting this kind of mobile technology can certainly improve efficiency and organization, but is not without its share of problems. Last year, the U.S. Air Force withdrew plans to purchase thousands of iPads after concerns were raised over security software that originated in Russia.

(via Bloomberg)

Image credit: Tyler S

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— By on February 10, 2013, 6:42 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure