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US Air Force cancels iPad purchase plans, reportedly over GoodReader security fears

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The US Air Force has canceled plans to buy thousands of iPads, reportedly over fears that the document viewing app it planned to use would be a security risk due to the developer's Russian nationality.


Back in December the US Air Force announced plans to buy 2,861 iPads as part of its transition away from using paper for flight books, but now the deal is off. The plan posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website has been updated with a note indicating its cancellation. Though the Air Force is yet to provide any explanation, Nextgov thinks it has the answer. The site had previously questioned the Air Force about its decision to use the document viewing application GoodReader with the iPads, because of security fears raised by the developer Yuri Selukoff's Russian nationality.

The US Army is also exploring the possibility of integrating mobile software via custom Android phones, and director of the project Michael McCarthy expressed his concerns over the iPad plan, saying "I would not use encryption software developed in Russia... I don't want to put users at risk." If these really are the grounds for canceling the iPad order, it would be a pretty left-field decision for the Air Force — GoodReader is a very well-regarded app, and even if it weren't, there are countless other document viewers on the App Store that could perform largely the same tasks. Selukoff, for his part, made it clear to Nextgov what he thought of the whole affair, emailing to say "Ha, someone's still living in 1970, aren't they?"