Wednesday, November 30, 2011

AKO on Android no more?

Today is probably the last day that you will be able to check your AKO email on your Android phone without getting a very expensive Bluetooth CAC card reader. According to this, imap will stop working, and only CAC cards will be supported after 01DEC2011. For more info, you can log into AKO, and click on the CAC resource center button on the left of the screen. On the new page that opens, on the bottom left there is a link for email on your mobile phone. I'd provide the link, but it's behind the log in page and I'm not sure how they feel about links to internal resources. If you are an AKO user, you shouldn't have any problem finding it. If you aren't an AKO user, then you don't need to know about it.

Amazingly, the bluetooth CAC card readers only work on TWO Android devices, the Dell Streak 5 and 7 and an Iphone with a stupid bluetooth adapter (Iphone already has bluetooth correct?). They cost well over $200, some sources saying that there is also a yearly fee of about $50 for the software. It's amazing to me how ridiculous the army can be about security. There is supposed be a balance between security and accessibility. Make it too secure, and no one will use it effectively. Make it too accessible, and everyone, even people not supposed to use it, will be using it. The Army always errs on the side of caution, making it utterly unusable. As someone that travels often, and hardly ever has easy access to a desk, you just made my job much harder. That translates into you paying me the same amount, but not getting as much work out of me. Good job!

Currently, I'm able to log into AKO in a browser, and from my phone without any issues, but I'm sure I'll be less effective at my job soon enough.

Edit: Thought I should update this with a link to a guide I wrote to setup AKO, since this is still working for the time being. Here is a link for some news on the bluetooth CAC card as well. Still looks like it's only available on Dell phones.