we’re following. Certainly within the
next year, you’ll see additional things
coming along,” Lange predicts.
Fishbowl marks a continued move
within the NSA and the Defense
Department toward commercial
mobile technologies. Lange says the
intent is to get out of the way of innovation and to get away from building government solutions. Instead, the
agency is putting out guidance and the
architecture to allow others to build
their own secure architectures. While
the edge device—the phone or tablet,
for example—is important, the primary goal is to secure the entire enterprise, so that if one device is compromised the rest of the network is not.
Agency officials learned a lesson
from the first attempt to adopt a
mobile device. About 10 years ago, the
NSA recognized the need for a secure
smartphone capability and embarked
on an effort to build what it needed
using traditional development meth-
ods, which included more than 800
requirements, according to Lange.
He describes the effort as the origi-
nal BYOD, which he says stands for
“build your own device” rather than
“bring your own device.”
That original product was known
A soldier from 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored
Division, demonstrates a Nett Warrior device, a smartphone-like mission command
system. Through the National Security
Agency’s Mobility Program, smartphones
and tablets capable of connecting to classified networks may become widespread.
as the Secure Mobile Environment
Personal Electronic Device (
SME-PED). “I think the name is a good
indication of what it actually looked
like,” Lange quips.
At the time, the SME-PED was hailed
as a hand-held communication device
that would revolutionize secure, por-
table access to classified information.
It enabled users to send and receive
both classified and unclassified tele-
phone calls and to exchange classified
and unclassified email. In addition, the
SME-PED allowed users to Web browse
on secure, secret networks.