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After NSA Approval, BlackBerry Can Sell Security Tools to U.S. Government

On Thursday, BlackBerry Ltd. BBRY announced it has won the right to sell secure messaging tools to the United States government after the National Security Agency (NSA) endorsed the smartphone maker and its products.

The endorsement came from the NSA’s National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP), a division of the agency that reviews commercial technology products in order to see if they meet “enhanced” security standards for government use. The NIAP has previously approved products from other consumer smartphone makers like Apple AAPL and Samsung SSNLF.

BlackBerry will now be able to sell products like its own government tools, Secusuite, for encrypting phone calls and text messages to U.S. federal government agencies. Secusuite supports encryption on iOS, Alphabet’s GOOGL Android, and BlackBerry 10 smartphones and tablets, in addition to all carrier networks and calling over Wi-Fi.

"Call tapping is happening at an alarming rate," said Alex Thurber, SVP and GM of Mobility Solutions at BlackBerry. "In today's connected world, restricting agency employees to only exchange classified information from the desk phone is no longer a viable option, but it could be the new reality if governments don't start securing calls and texts from mobile devices."

Secusuite is based on technology from Secusmart, a German mobile security company Blackberry acquired in 2014. Secusmart was responsible for locking down Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone following reports and claims by a former U.S. intelligence contractor that the device was tapped by the NSA.

BlackBerry said its encrypted voice and text messaging tools are currently used by government agencies in 20 countries across Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa; Germany is the company’s biggest government customer.

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