Chen: BlackBerry did the right thing in giving Canadian cops its decryption key

Chen: BlackBerry did the right thing in giving Canadian cops its decryption key
BlackBerry CEO John Chen wrote in today's edition of the Inside BlackBerry blog, that the company was being a "good corporate citizen" by turning over its decryption key to Canadian police back in 2010. We're not sure which firms Chen had in mind when he said, "we are indeed in a dark place when companies put their reputations above the greater good," but we are sure that a few will come to your mind immediately.

The Canadian police have had BlackBerry's global decryption key since 2010, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have intercepted and decrypted over one million BlackBerry messages during an investigation that ran from 2010-2012. The RCMP is Canada's federal crime breaker, and was digging into a mafia related killing during that time period. The information retrieved by the agency led to seven guilty pleas in the murder of Sal "the Ironworker" Montagna. Alleged to be a member of the New York Bonanno crime family, Montagna was gunned down in Montreal.

With the media rediscovering this case, and BlackBerry's part in getting the guilty pleas, Chen wrote a piece for the company's blog today. In it, he wrote that "(We) stood by our lawful access principles. Furthermore, at no point was BlackBerry’s BES server involved." The executive adds that its MDM is impenetrable with no backdoor access.

This is a difficult maze that smartphone manufacturers are navigating as they try to balance the privacy obligations that they have to their customers while still operating within the parameters of the law.


source: BlackBerry via Crackberry

FEATURED VIDEO

43 Comments

1. Techist

Posts: 311; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

Blackberry's got the right balance. Smart guys.

11. Rafishant

Posts: 390; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

How is that smart, seriously??? If a company gave your info and data to the government or whatever party, do you think that is a favor to the customers?? Now I don't rule out that BlackBerry opened that door to the governments of India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, China.. etc.. When they threatened BlackBerry to cut its bussiness in these countries if they won't cooperate with the government. Do people really defend and justify this scandal? Do you really think that giving all your information to the dictator regimes is a smart move? I guess this is the knockout to what so-called "BlackBerry Security" I must admit that Apple deserves full respect here!

14. bambamboogy02

Posts: 827; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

So you are agaisnt criminals being caught?

16. Rafishant

Posts: 390; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

Who is criminal? Who is not criminal? Who decides on this? Did you notice that I mentioned other dictator governments or governments have Islamic radical agenda? Who is BlackBerry to determine what governments to cooperate with and what governments not to cooperate with? I think most who are concerned about "privacy" would just rather there wasn't some magical key.... in the first place. We can easily abuse this trend!

22. Mxyzptlk unregistered

I'm against unwanted government snooping. Don't defend this.

28. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

No. I am against anybody accessing the data on my phone without my consent.

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 21156; Member since: May 28, 2014

I'm going going to ask the same question as bambamboogy02. So you're for criminals getting away Scott free with their wrong doings? What is wrong with a company complying with a lawful access request? Did you forget that late last year BlackBerry was going to VOLUNTARILY PULL OUT OF Pakistan because they wanted unfettered access to customers info and data via a backdoor and BlackBerry refused? And do you SERIOUSLY think that Apple doesn't collect, store and sell your data? Are you that naive? BlackBerry is the one that deserves respect here for cooperating with a lawful request which aided in the apprehension of criminals.

36. Leo_MC

Posts: 6110; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

All criminals can walk free, if catching them means abusing the rights of the innocent.

39. meanestgenius

Posts: 21156; Member since: May 28, 2014

Where in this article do you see the rights of the innocent ambushed?

18. xq10xa

Posts: 799; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Yeah smart guys. Just not smart enough to keep BB going.

19. meanestgenius

Posts: 21156; Member since: May 28, 2014

24. medtxa

Posts: 1655; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

"at no point was BlackBerry’s BES server involved." The executive adds that its MDM is impenetrable with no backdoor access." That's what he said, its up to you to believe it or not as we can't prove it true or not. If you don't believe him then just trust the BS you wrote yourself.

30. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3934; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Dude you sound like someone who has something to hide, does it really matter if the authorities are reading your text or listing to your phone calls. Unless you are doing something really bad like killing someone or selling kilos of drugs then the cops won't even bother with you. So based off what I just said if the cops were reading your text and listing to your calls would you be in jail right now? You can be against something all you want but at the end of the day does it even affect you?

41. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Wow ! Spoken like a member of law enforcement Arch_fiend How can you be so stupid? There are so many documented cases of the government going after people they know are innocent.

44. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3934; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

True, the law locks up innocent people and even more innocent people have been pursued by law enforcement for something they didn't do but that is because they usually don't have the full story(all the evidence) and what they do have just adds up or at the very least its enough circumstantial evidence to suspect someone or lock someone up. On the other hand, if you were framed for something you didn't do and at the same time the FBI was monitoring your text, calls, and GPS.....ect. Then they would know without a shadow of a doubt that you didn't do anything wrong. Also, why is your reply to me about innocent people being gone after by the GOV, when mine was about authorities monitoring phone calls and text?

43. shahrooz

Posts: 792; Member since: Sep 17, 2013

privacy w***es want their lame text and pics secure so no one can read them. guess what: NOBODY WANTS TO READ YOUR s**t

2. zex999

Posts: 92; Member since: Feb 14, 2016

Another reason not to buy BlackBerry. I don't know about in Canada, but here in the US, authorities have only themselves to blame for their distrust. With blanket spying, trying to find loopholes, and general mishandling of citizen rights it's hard choice to make between safety and encryption.

20. Mxyzptlk unregistered

This guy gets it. Good job blackberry protecting your users, the few handful that you still have. There's a reason why security is your biggest selling point.

29. therealestmc

Posts: 679; Member since: Jul 23, 2012

Giving the encryption key to the go government is protecting their customers? You have a weird way of interpreting things. Doesn being hungry equal a full stomach to you, as well?

46. Mxyzptlk unregistered

It's called sarcasm.

3. meanestgenius

Posts: 21156; Member since: May 28, 2014

Totally the right thing to do. Give lawful access when necessary, with no back doors and not allowing for abuse. Bravo, BlackBerry. Better to aid in the apprehension of criminals who seek to do others harm it or worse, then to turn a blind eye to it. And let's be clear on this subject: this was for pin-to-pin messaging only, not BBM. Pin-to-pin messaging is far less secure.

7. meanestgenius

Posts: 21156; Member since: May 28, 2014

Also, this for older BBOS7 models and earlier, not BlackBerry handsets running BB10 or greater.

4. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

That's good when the criminals aren't the ones in office abusing such powers, that's terrible when they are. The US is already abusing it's powers (NSA and 9/11 comes to mind), that's the problem here...

40. ph00ny

Posts: 1976; Member since: May 26, 2011

9/11 is an example of US abusing its powers? WTF??

42. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Yes it is, watch this video backed by laws of nature and physics, then tell me what rational excuse you have, backed by laws of nature and physics, to think it wasn't an inside job: https://youtu.be/e8__64mFVes

5. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

RIM/Blackberry or whatever you want to call yourselves these days. Even though we share the same continent as you, doesn't mean we have to be like you. Even though I am sure Microsoft has a way to get encryption keys from Windows installs, that doesn't mean they should give them away at any price. Everyone knows terrorist use computers and phones to commit crimes and coordinate efforts to commit crimes. The Feds of any Gov't should not have access to every phone on the planet to catch a hand full of people. Most Gov'ts already know who the terrorists are, its a matter of where they are and what they are planning. I do believe it would be great fi we could foil a plot. But the fact is, anyone could say anything on a phone. They could catch a conversation that says an attack will happen on a certain day and time and it doesn't happen. It was just a code for the REAL date and time. For 9/11 we already knew the time and the date, because the US Gov't was in on the whole plot.

8. natypes

Posts: 1110; Member since: Feb 02, 2015

"For 9/11 we already knew the time and the date, because the US Gov't was in on the whole plot." You just lost all credibility. Do you realize how many people it would take to pull that off? And you think every single last one of them had no qualms with killing 3k innocent people? And none of them has had a moment of regret? No one has said a word? Come on man.

12. GreenMan

Posts: 2686; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I must have to agree with Teachie to some extent... Anyone who believes that The U.S Govt. had NO F-ING of idea about an imminent major attack on US soil Are living a fantasy... That would mean that CIA and FBI and other secret agencies were on a coffee break for MONTHS on 9/11! DO YOU ACTUALLY THINK THAT AN AFGHAN PEASANT COULD PULL THIS OFF! It's The bloody Pentagon we are talking about here... Anyone who believes in 9/11 doesn't have a clue about how intelligence agencies works, period... THEY DELIBERATELY LET THAT INCIDENT HAPPEN... Either they let it happen, or they did it themselves...

37. Leo_MC

Posts: 6110; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Don't you think an afghan peasant can be smart, you dumb fk?

21. Mxyzptlk unregistered

For once I agree with techie and that's kind of scary.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.