NSA rings up a secure (and rugged) smartphone

The security agency contracts for dual-use, secure General Dynamics phones, branded Sectera Edge, for military and government personnel.

Finally, here's a phone plan that allows you to switch from the U.S. government's Secret Internet Protocol Router Network to the Unclassified but Sensitive Internet Protocol Router Network with a single keystroke.

General Dynamics

The National Security Agency has authorized military and government personnel to order up a bunch of General Dynamics' Sectera Edge secure, wireless smartphones, which will not only allow them to make secure calls but also to e-mail and Web-browse in either classified or unclassified mode.

The phones will still operate right along with everyone else on the existing high-speed Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), code division multiple access (CMDA) and Wi-Fi commercial cellular networks.

Although it looks like a regular phone, the company says the Sectera Edge is designed to rugged military specs, allowing for the wear and tear of both the office and "war fighters completing a tactical mission." And it comes with a personal organizer that includes contacts, calendar, tasks, alarms and notes so you won't forget your loved ones' birthdays in the midst of a covert operation.

Deliveries are scheduled for later this year, with sales estimated as high as $300 million over the next 5 years, according to the company. The Sectera Edge is part of the NSA's Secure Mobile Environment Portable Electronic Device program, but there are civilian models available. Did we mention the secret handshake?

About the author

    The military establishment's ever increasing reliance on technology and whiz-bang gadgetry impacts us as consumers, investors, taxpayers and ultimately as the defended. Our mission here is to bring some of these products and concepts to your attention based on carefully selected criteria such as importance to national security, originality, collateral damage to the treasury and adaptability to yard maintenance-but not necessarily in that order. E-mail him at markr@milapp.com. Disclosure.

     

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