Pentagon officials can view classified material on special tablets

The pilot program expands Defense support of smartphones for classified data.

The Department of Defense (DOD) is testing out the use of tablets for viewing classified documents and videos. In a statement, the Defense Information Systems Agency said that the year-long pilot program would provide senior DOD leaders with 8-inch tablets, the first of which was given to the DOD's acting chief information officer, John Zangardi, in May.

As of now, 23 other officials have been issued tablets and they not only allow access to classified documents, they also support the Unified Video Dissemination System (UVDS). Through UVDS, DOD employees can view video feeds collected for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance purposes. In 2015, the Defense Information Systems Agency began providing smartphones approved for accessing classified materials, but the larger screens of a tablet make for a better user experience, especially when viewing videos.

Currently, the tablets are only approved for materials classified as secret, not top secret. In a statement, Leticia Parra, the DOD Mobility Classified Capability-Secret tablet pilot program manager, said, "While the year-long pilot is in its initial stages, it will be a game changer across the department. As we continue to enhance capabilities, modern information technology will continue to join forces with cybersecurity to provide situational awareness and create a manageable battlefield communications infrastructure."