New Software Lets Sailors Use Navy-Issued Phones for Personal Use

ESPIRITU SANTO, Vanuatu (May 2, 2011) - Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Cassandra Townsend shows ni-Vanuatu students a music video on her cell phone at Matevulu College during the Vanuatu phase of Pacific Partnership 2011.  Pacific Partnership is a five-month humanitarian assistance initiative that will make port visits to Tonga, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste and the Federated States of Micronesia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Tony Tolley)

The Navy has green lighted a plan that allows sailors to stop carrying their work and personal phones.

Navy leaders authorized mobile software for Defense Department-issued phones that will separate a user’s official calls, messages and images from their personal ones.

Newly issued devices, starting with Apple’s iPhone 5S and 6 models running IOS 8, will utilize systems developed by Good Technology that segregate official business uses of the phone and securing it with enhanced encryption and passwords, according to the Navy’s April 21 announcement.

“Mobility is transforming how the Navy operates, connects, and supports our personnel and the fleet,” Vice Adm. Ted Branch, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance and Director of Naval Intelligence said in the announcement.

“To meet this growing demand the Naval Enterprise Networks program office has implemented a mobile solution to meet operational needs while complying with architectural and security requirements to protect the Navy enterprise,” he said.

The solution uses “Good Container” technology that will enable sailors to use their Navy-issued phones for government work and personal activities in keeping with Navy policies on acceptable use of government IT, Branch said.

Users may load non-work apps to the phone, but only outside the Good Container system.

However, only apps available through the iTunes or the Android apps stores may be downloaded, and “users are responsible for all charges and installations of personally desired applications and data installed on the non-secure portion of the device,” Branch said.

The technology will also be added to newer iPhones/IOS versions, as well as Androids, as they are certified on the Navy Marine-Corps Intranet network.

— Additional information, including user guides, can be found here.

Bryant Jordan can be reached at bryant.jordan@military.com.

About the Author

Bryant Jordan
Bryant Jordan is a reporter for Military.com. He can be reached at bryant.jordan@military.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BryantJordan.
  • Christopher

    Navy (and the military) should just use Blackberrys. Like the rest of the government does. Just as good as an Android or iPhone and much of what they want is already there.

    • captainjack63

      We are all dropping RIM like a hot potato for they are not able to fill out needs. Do a quick google search ( government drops blackberry for ) and see all the federal organizations that have dropped using RIM.

    • blight_

      Hah, iPhone 5 and 6? I guess government likes paying the most…

  • Randy

    Hillary could have used these as Sec Def .

  • smitty

    Personal software on government IT systems what could go wrong!

  • F4trees

    Oh those poor Navy bastards! My organization uses Good, and everyone agrees it is the most inappropriately named software ever! Basically all the wonderful functionality of the Iphone - you can kiss it goodbye inside the Good “container.”

  • blight_

    I suppose it beats BYOD for security. Keep the personal stuff in a sandbox, and secure it such that it doesn’t compromise the device (which will probably annoy the end users).

  • CTOCS77

    Someone needs to be investigated and fired. Another waste of Taxpayers dollars. Really? We have that many sailors with gov’t issued phones. For what purpose?

  • CTOCS77

    “However, only apps available through the iTunes or the Android apps stores may be downloaded, and “users are responsible for all charges and installations of personally desired applications and data installed on the non-secure portion of the device,” Branch said.”

    How about working on a system that does not take 5 minutes to log in on instead of music for the sailors.

    Really, so the US Gov’t spent the R&D dollars to separate the phone calls from personal and work related calls? Who got that contract? We had the same thing happen at E&Y and some bean-counters thought that we should spend 100 dollars an hour verifying charges to get 1.00

    This sounds par for the US Government and the PMO that runs it.

  • CTOCS77

    The Office of the Secretary of the Navy has nominated Rear Adm. Elizabeth Train for a third star and to relieve Vice Adm. Ted Branch as director of naval intelligence, according to two Navy officials.

    Branch’s access to classified information was suspended in November 2013, along with that of a deputy, Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, the director of intelligence operations, for possible connections to Glenn Defense Marine Asia — the husbanding firm at the center of one of the Navy’s biggest bribery scandals in decades.

    Is this the same Branch. Are we out of our friggin minds?

  • blight_

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Navy_11…

    Image origin.

  • Anonymous

    Stand-by for overload by pron… 3… 2… 1…

  • blight_

    Android has multiple users feature, and so long as you disable installation of apps outside of Google Play or a military app repo it shouldn’t be an issue. Also lock down root access to prevent those savvy ones from getting into trouble.

  • projob66

    I can remember being deployed very far from home, talking skip HF to the states at night where some really nice HAM operator would patch me through to my wife….
    “I love you, over”….. Things have changed…

    • DBM

      Yeah and these phones constantly send out your 10 digit grid coordinates. Israelis still havent figured that one out I guess.

      • blight_

        http://helihub.com/2012/03/20/four-apaches-lost-i…

        Turn off your EXIF when posting pictures! Disable location sharing/location recording to Google (especially for a device used on the frontline in wartime).

        Imagine an American soldier loses an Android device. The enemy hacks in, then looks at location sharing data.
        https://maps.google.com/locationhistory/b/0

        So…soldier A goes on patrol on this route. Soldier A goes to this place around breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We shall fire the mortars and rockets here.

        • Mitch S.

          Geez, I have to hope the sandbox software turns off geotagging.

          I just wonder if it also allows Navy/NSA to record all activity which could be why they want to go this route (new iPhones use encryption so a personal phone might be hard to crack).
          PS I’m not against such measures, privacy is limited when you’re using “company” devices and you might deal with sensitive info.
          PPS I think the Israelis have figured it out but they had to learn the hard way!

        • Dan

          The enemy already has the ability to hack the phones. They are all made outside the USA. They install the programming into the phone for us. Keep the production and tech here. Hard to block corporate/military tech espionage when the product is made by your competition.

        • Dakotaav8r

          Yes turn off embedded GPS cords on your pics or just strip them of these fields before posting online… but that ‘event’ is BS… never happened like that or like they say here http://www.army.mil/article/75165/Geotagging_pose…

  • DBM

    Great! More Obama phones and more of an opportunity to for espionage.

  • blight_

    They’re Melanesians, which is the majority ethnic group out in Vanuatu, which is where this picture was taken. Digging out Vanuatu ethnographic data,

    “The Ni-Vanuatu are primarily (98.5%) of Melanesian descent, with the remainder made up of a mix of Europeans, Asians and other Pacific islanders. ”

    The United States is ~60-70% white, roughly 12% African American. The Hispanic breakout of ethnographic data is somewhat difficult to put together. While the showing of faces in the media is not as representative as it could, the more insidious outcomes are a lack of faces of races and genders in leading roles on TV, in companies and in politics.

    And even when racially diverse casts are used, the roles they are slotted into aren’t always diverse. Spike Lee has historically had a chip on his shoulder about this, invoking the “magic negro” (a cousin of the noble savage/noble outsider trope).

    Going back to the picture. Black hospital corpsman in an island of 98% melanesians who look “black” to American eyes. It is probably entirely random, and maybe there are pictures of white sailors interacting with the locals too. This is entirely innocuous and perhaps over-reading.

  • blight_

    Here, have a ethnically diverse picture.
    http://www.c7f.navy.mil/imagery/galleries/monthly…

    And more:
    http://www.navy.mil/view_image_list.asp?id=135&am…

  • theobserver

    Since when did Apple Iphone’s become standard issued equipment?

  • MARK PAYNE

    Great for sailors who frigate all to service. Excellence always and honor to all my friends in the USA navy GOD speed you and watch over you. Thanks to navintl for making this endeavour available.

  • Steve

    Now the sailors will never get any work done. Heck, nowadays they are leaving base by 14.00 or 14.30. When I was in we worked until 16.30. Ho much more work are the sailors doing?

  • blight_

    So what, all the vets were discharged after 2009 and immediately replaced with affirmative action jobs programs and obama phone users?

    Ignoring the fact that the FCC began subsidizing telephony services under…Reagan? Yes, big bad Governor of California Reagan.