CEO of Blackberry John Chen has made claims to break their own encryption if the government asks them to do so.
Blackberry’s number of mobile phone service is sort of a small number, and chances are the number of people using blackberry phones are doing so because of Blackberry’s reputation of encryption and high-level security. However, recent claims made by the company’s CEO John Chen may convince to look somewhere else for security.
During the Blackberry Security Summit celebrated in England’s capital, London, CEO John Chen said he would release user data to the government if the last one asked them. Chen, however, stated that although they would attempt to break the encryption, they might not be able to do so.
‘even for ourselves, to break it, to break our own encryption… it’s not an easily breakable thing’
John Chen further added at the Blackberry Security Summit that they would attempt to break the encryption only if the government gives them a court order, which would then pose the question of how good is the encryption. In relation to this matter, Chen remarked “Today’s encryption has got to the point where it’s rather difficult, even for ourselves, to break it, to break our own encryption… it’s not an easily breakable thing.”
Blackberry, although declining in users, remains a popular choice within certain industries and many government companies for their high-level security. One could only speculate about what will Chen’s claims do to Blackberry’s already dwindling user base.
Fortunately for Blackberry users, Chen’s comments in the conference suggested Blackberry does not have a universal key to access encrypted data. An antecedent of this remark may be found on an investigation led by the Canadian government, which found a “global encryption key” to unlock data on blackberry devices.
A supporter of online privacy
The stance of Blackberry on this matter is surprising given that blackberry, as a company, strongly supports online privacy, and has previously supported manufacturers who have made customers’ privacy the main point in their advertisement campaigns.
One of the most important manufacturers includes Apple, a company that dominates the smartphone market and composes a large portion of it. Blackberry defended apple on the notable case that included an iPhone belonging to the San Bernardino Shooter. However, this is not the only one as Blackberry has been a staunch supporter of users’ privacy in many cases involving this topic.
Privacy is not a priority for Blackberry
John Chen admitted they would gladly break their own encryption, however, Chen did also comment and made emphasis on ‘try’ to break their own encryption, as Blackberry’s operating system is one, if not the one that provides the most security in user data. Blackberry’s CEO also stated that although new blackberry devices run on Android Operative systems, the blackberry version was still the best option to get more security, even more than iOS.
Although Chen’s claims, he also added, “No one has really asked us for it (to break their own encryption). We don’t really have a policy on whether we will do it or not”. However, he revealed to have received requests from several governments across the globe, which poses a serious implication for users since Blackberry, unlike Apple does not publish a transparency report in order to provide data on how many requests are complied with.
Blackberry’s answer to the users’ privacy issue seems to suggest that they do not consider this topic as a priority, which comes off as strange given that the small user base who chose to use Blackberry devices, had done so because of Blackberry’s popularity regarding high-level security in communications.