BlackBerry has just won a pretty big contract. The company has announced that it now has the right to sell secure calling and messaging tools to the US government. This way the federal government is able to talk with each other securely and not worry about others tapping their phones. That's pretty important in the grand scope of things, and for BlackBerry to get that contract is huge. The Canadian smartphone manufacturer had recently moved away from manufacturing smartphones and into making secure software for companies and enterprises, and now the government.
According to BlackBerry, it has received an endorsement from the NSA's National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP). This is the arm of the NSA that reviews commercial technology products to ensure that they meet the demands for government use. These demands include enhanced security standards, as you'd expect. The NIAP has also endorsed tools from Apple and Samsung, the main competitors of BlackBerry. These tools are heavily based on some of the technology from Secusmart. BlackBerry actually acquired the German startup, Secusmart back in 2014, and has been integrating its software into BlackBerry's own. Secusmart actually won the contract to lock down the country's Chancellor's smartphone, after claims of her phone being tapped by the NSA were made public.
Despite BlackBerry's shrinking market size, the company is still fairly popular when it comes to government agencies and enterprises. BlackBerry is being used in over 20 different government agencies, largely in Africa, Europe and Latin America with Germany being its biggest government customer. BlackBerry is looking to expand that list, and it appears that the US government is the next one on that list. It's important to note that while BlackBerry has won approval from the NIAP, this doesn't mean that it will be building tools for the government to use, just yet. It still has to compete with Samsung and Apple for new tools and software, of which the government will choose the best tool to use for their purposes. But it is a step in the right direction for BlackBerry, continuing its quest for selling secure software to enterprises and governments.