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Samsung said to be near deals to supply devices to FBI, Navy

Formerly the territory of BlackBerry, the contracts would be Samsung's first U.S. government deals since winning Pentagon security approval earlier this year.

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Samsung's Galaxy S4.
Samsung's Galaxy S4 was approved for U.S. government agency use in May. Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung is reportedly close to completing its first deals to supply devices to U.S. government agencies since winning Pentagon security approval earlier this year.

The South Korean electronics giant is negotiating a large deal for its devices with the FBI and a smaller one with the Navy, people familiar with the matter tell The Wall Street Journal. With the deals, Samsung is going after a business long dominated by BlackBerry.

CNET has contacted Samsung for comment and will update this report when we learn more.

In the past, BlackBerry has enjoyed many exclusive contracts with different U.S. government agencies, but the company has had a tough go of it for the past year regarding government contracts. In October, the Pentagon announced it was planning to open up its exclusive BlackBerry contract to other device makers. That same month, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced it would replace all of its BlackBerry devices with Apple's iPhone.

As with BlackBerry 10 devices, Samsung's Galaxy S4 won Pentagon approval earlier this year for use by U.S. government and military departments that tap into the Department of Defense networks, which require high security standards.

The Journal's sources said the devices will come equipped with Knox, an additional layer of security software Samsung introduced earlier this year that separates personal and corporate data. The "container" system includes AES 256-bit encryption, the ability to create a virtual private network connection through a single app, and improved mobile device management controls.