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VA to Open Network for iPads, iPhones

The Department of Veterans Affairs will open its network to access by Apple iPads and iPhones starting in October, GovInfoSecurity.com reports.

VA staff are currently limited to using only BlackBerry smart phones, with more than 20,000 employees using BlackBerry devices. VA staff will be able to access encrypted e-mail as well as securely view certain patient data on iPads and iPhones.

“There are a ton of medical applications that have been developed in the private sector for those devices,” VA Chief Information Officer Roger Baker said according to Bloomberg. “There’s a demand for those from our clinicians.”

Bloomberg reports the BlackBerry has been the federal agencies’ smartphone of choice since 2001 because of its security features. Government workers have since gravitated towards the iPhone and devices using Google’s Android software.

The House of Representatives, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Army are testing technology that would let employees securely perform official tasks on the iPad, iPhone and other gadgets.

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