A military program has created an Android-based super secure smartphone that goes with the office of the President. Is Trump using it?
Among the privileges and cool stuff that come with being the president of the United States is a highly modified Boeing Black smartphone, an encrypted device certified to handle Top Secret data. The Defense Department Information Systems Agency, or DISA, developed the phone with help from Boeing and other partners, the phone “goes with the office” of the President. But is Donald Trump using it — or his old and far less secure Android phone?
The DISA phone emerged from the agency’s Mobility Classified Capability program. A fact sheet says the program uses “commercial mobile devices (smart phones and hotspot devices) and commercial mobile architecture components” such as commercial virtual private networking. The sheet describes the phone as “NSA-approved,” and lists “Top Secret” communication capability as “coming soon.”
(The fact sheet does not mention the Boeing Black, but when Defense One asked DISA if the two were separate, an official replied, “no.”)
As of November 1, DISA had handed out at least two of the phones, to President Obama and to Cyber Command leader Adm. Mike Rogers, according to DISA chief Lt. Gen. Alan Lynn, who spoke at the Milcom conference in Baltimore. Lynn was initially coy when asked who helped DISA make the device: “I don’t want everyone to know who’s making good stuff for me because there’s a lot of partners. I don’t want to just highlight one. Although I’m sure the question might have come from that one.” A moment later, he softened. “I’ll tell you who worked on the Top Secret one, Boeing did. Boeing Black is the device we’re working with.”
He added that DISA was “just now in the test phase of it.”
Since then, DISA has become a bit shy in discussing the device. When we asked whether Obama’s Boeing Black phone had been given to Donald Trump, a DISA official, speaking on background, said only that the phone “goes with the office of that position.”