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Pentagon seeks a new breed of secure smartphone

Posting in Design

Mobile security is a concern for corporations and agencies everywhere as cybercrime continues to rise, and the Pentagon is no exception.

A recent request made by the Virginia Contracting Activity (VACA), which is the public face for the Defense Intelligence Agency's contracting business, has asked for a firm to come forward which has the "ability to work and store classified information at the SECRET Collateral Level" and to design customized "cellular phone point-to-point communication systems."

In layman's terms, a mobile network with private, encrypted communication channels is being requested.

As the request also highlights the need for a contractor to have experience programming and testing cell phones and designing "custom packaging and advanced miniaturization for communications," it is likely that the DIA wants a new breed of mobile phone, even if that is not explicitly stated.

The agency expects contractors to be able to manufacture such systems, create functional prototypes, and be able to train up staff in their use. As reported by Wired, the agency expects to award a "multi-million-dollar, three-year contract" in the fall.

The confidential communications channel will be used for intelligence purposes only.

Read more: Wired

Image credit: Flickr

— By on April 18, 2013, 11:21 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