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First Look At The US Military’s Smartphone and Desktop App Store

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The US Military is making a bold and impressive move by creating a smartphone and desktop app store for soldiers. The app store will be called the Army Marketplace and it will feature applications for both smartphones and desktop computers to help soldiers and new recruits. The app marketplace will also feature an agile software development process, where requests are put in for apps and developers can respond to the request and choose to build.

The main problem the app store is facing right now is device authentication. BlackBerry is the only smartphone certified to handle government data, and it can really only carry mail. The IT policies generally shut out all applications, and according to Lt. Col. Gregory Motes, chief of the Army’s new Mobile Applications Branch, “we don’t have a solution for authenticating applications or secure websites.” If a smartphone were to win authentication for apps, it would surely be a BlackBerry with policies that allow certain types of applications and block features that could reveal secure data.
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Canadian Government Now Able To Download Twitter and Facebook Apps

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@TonyClement_MP

We have seen a dramatic increase over the past couple of years in government officials using social media to reach out to constituents. In Canada, MPs were not able to download the Twitter and Facebook applications, likely due to security concerns, but the House of Commons recently gave MPs and certain political staff the go-ahead to download Twitter and Facebook apps on government-issued BlackBerrys.
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RIM to Offer Cloud Computing-Based System for India to Monitor BBM

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It looks like RIM and India have made some headway recently as RIM has agreed to offer monitoring on cloud-based computing instead of setting up a local server and the Ministry of Home Affairs has agreed to this solution. In a letter to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Vice-President (Government Relations) of RIM, Mr Robert Crow, said, “As per the compliance schedule agreed to by both Research In Motion and the Ministry of Home Affairs, RIM infrastructure is ready to receive and process via the cloud computing-based system lawfully intercepted BlackBerry Messenger data from Indian service providers.”
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Developers Use Open Data to Make Government Services More Accessible

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Pic courtesy of @opendataottawa. Click to enlarge

Open Data Ottawa’s hackathon kicked off today along with the International Open Data Hackathon. Ottawa’s Open Data event is of particular importance considering it’s not only the capital of Canada, but Ottawa itself has gone through several periods of tech recession and explosion, making for a city with quite a few talented programmers.

Over 50 cities participated in today’s International Open Data Hackathon and we have coverage of the Ottawa event as well as some notes about why this event should be of particular importance to RIM.
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RIM Outlines 4 Main Principles of Lawful Access to BlackBerry Data

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RIM has made an official announcement to customers saying it is cooperating with the Indian government as well as other governments during the recent string of complaints regarding access to information. RIM has said that it is cooperating with these governments “in the spirit of supporting legal and national security requirements, while also preserving the lawful needs of citizens and corporations.”

Following this statement, RIM has outlined four main principles that governments must follow if they are to work with RIM on access to private data:
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The Official Word from RIM About BlackBerry Security and Data Access

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Recently, we posted a story with some quotes from RIM stating they weren’t about to acquiesce to demands about security. We were recently sent an official document sent to government and enterprise customers regarding the situation and it has provided much of the commentary you’ve seen in the mainstream media. Click through after the jump to read:
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