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  • The iPhone Goes to War


    Future US soldiers may have government-issue iPhones to go with their boots and rifles. If a new modernization plan is successful, soldiers will have their phones and service plans paid for by the Army, allowing them to communicate securely and use military apps for training as well as live intelligence data. However, securing these phones is a challenge, and Apple and Google so far have been unwilling to open up API access to their security functions.

    Lieutenant General Michael Vane, the director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) suggests that the Army would issue smartphones just like any other piece of equipment a soldier receives. "One of the options," he said to the Army Times, "is to make it a piece of equipment in a soldier's clothing bag." The Army is looking at what General Vane calls a "maintenance fee" for apps and wireless service. "If you did it that way," the general says, "the advantage would be to pay for the phone once and then you pay a maintenance fee to the soldier... and then the soldier can buy whatever iPhone, Android or hardware that he or she likes."

    Smartphones are already making inroads to the military for training and operational use. An Army program called Connecting Soldiers to Digital Applications is underway at Fort Leonard Wood, Fort Lee, and Fort Sill. A task force at Fort Bliss is preparing to deploy smartphones on the battlefield. In February, the Army's first brigade to receive upgrades under the brigade combat team modernization program will begin testing an array of electronic equipment. "We're looking at everything from iPads to Kindles to Nook readers to mini-projectors," Mike McCarthy, director of the mission command complex of Future Force Integration Directorate at Fort Bliss, told the Army Times. Soldiers would be able to get real-time intelligence and video from drones and satellites, and use Google Maps-like apps to identify friend and foe on the battlefield. Security is, obviously, a fundamental concern.

    "We had to prove that we could make the electrons flow from one end to the other successfully," McCarthy said. "We took a little bit of license in not going over classified networks. Once it works, we can start working on the information assurance piece." This task is made more difficult by the fact that Apple and Google refused to give the government API access to their devices' security stacks. While some observers were outraged by the refusal, others pointed out that entrusting your secrets to the government is not a guarantee of privacy. "The U.S. government leaks like a sieve," MacDailyNews wrote. "Tool on over to WikiLeaks for proof."

    Nevertheless, the push to include cutting edge technology in the military continues. "The challenge will be to work through the policy issues of sharing data and information assurance," General Vane said. "Army officials remain concerned of enemy forces hacking into the phones, but don't want that fear to paralyze the use of these phones."

    Source: Electronista
    This article was originally published in forum thread: The iPhone Goes to War started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 37 Comments
    1. Karephre's Avatar
      Karephre -
      Damn.. after I got out they want issue cool stuff
    1. KingDan's Avatar
      KingDan -
      No joke!
    1. crankz1's Avatar
      crankz1 -
      The best hackers will win the war...
    1. dotsforlife's Avatar
      dotsforlife -
      "allowing them to communicate securely..."

      riiiiiiight, bc nothings more secure than an iPhone? BB anyone?

      Just my opinion but this is stupid on the Army's part imo. Hackers will make quick work of this, heck even a few script kiddies here could make quick work of breaching an iPhones security. Just wait til China sees this xD
    1. Ihateiphone123's Avatar
      Ihateiphone123 -
      Too lonnnnnnnnng.
    1. Sanady361's Avatar
      Sanady361 -
      Quote Originally Posted by crankz1 View Post
      The best hackers will win the war...
      +1
    1. klouud's Avatar
      klouud -
      Yeah... I get out and they start issuing out mecha suits... Reenlistment anyone?
    1. Barachus's Avatar
      Barachus -
      as much as i love my iphone, if i was a soldier the iphone is the last phone i would trust to take into combat and have my life depend on
    1. ToddD81's Avatar
      ToddD81 -
      I can see the headline now... "US Army jailbroken"
    1. Volerikan's Avatar
      Volerikan -
      Can't they just jailbreak it?
    1. qgshadow's Avatar
      qgshadow -
      With the receptions issues and bad security , the iphone is the last Smartphone you want on a battlefield lol
    1. buzios's Avatar
      buzios -
      Since the iPhone is locked to AT&T in the US, AT&T would have to expand into Afghanistan, Iraq .....

      Since you can't carry extra batteries because they can't be replaced on the iPhone, soldiers would have to be tied to their base by a long power cord to be able to recharge the iPhone on the field.
    1. qgshadow's Avatar
      qgshadow -
      Quote Originally Posted by buzios View Post
      Since the iPhone is locked to AT&T in the US, AT&T would have to expand into Afghanistan, Iraq .....

      Since you can't carry extra batteries because they can't be replaced on the iPhone, soldiers would have to be tied to their base by a long power cord to be able to recharge the iPhone on the field.
      and get external antennas, because some place my iphone gets 0bar and my work phone on the same network get 4bars.
    1. candypaint's Avatar
      candypaint -
      This is a dumb idea.

      They have plenty of technology to expand on. They do not need to go to smart phones in a combat field. Besides, certain equipment to jam signals are around. And everyone has probably watched 24 and know that computer nerds are everywhere and getting the technology is no problem now a days to initiate a cyber attack.

      I don't see this evolving any further than this article.
    1. vantheman169's Avatar
      vantheman169 -
      wouldnt surprise me though, after being in the Navy for almost 9 years i have seen a lot of wasted money on numerous things from the government and for the upper chain of command to just get these iphones to play PAPIJUMP on them would not surprise me 1 bit. The government wastes so much money on crap that they dont need anyways and i think this would be one of them.
    1. qgshadow's Avatar
      qgshadow -
      Quote Originally Posted by DRFP View Post
      I don't know if BB is really more secure no one wants to hack them
      There is no JB for 4.2 so its pretty secure

      Iphone is the better device
      wtf? firmware 4.2 has been jailbroken since its out... and the untethered version will be out by chrismas..

      lol total fail.
    1. justinpotter81's Avatar
      justinpotter81 -
      new meaning for death grip
    1. vantheman169's Avatar
      vantheman169 -
      Quote Originally Posted by qgshadow View Post
      wtf? firmware 4.2 has been jailbroken since its out... and the untethered version will be out by chrismas..

      lol total fail.
      By Christmas? You got a link to prove that ?
    1. qgshadow's Avatar
      qgshadow -
      Quote Originally Posted by vantheman169 View Post
      By Christmas? You got a link to prove that ?
      Well it was from twitter but can't remeber which dev or account. sorry.

      Quote Originally Posted by DRFP View Post
      I don't know if BB is really more secure no one wants to hack them
      There is no JB for 4.2 so its pretty secure

      Iphone is the better device
      Double Post more?

      = double fail