When CEOs attack: BlackBerry's Chen criticizes Apple for not unlocking Farook's iPhone 5c

When CEOs attack: BlackBerry's Chen criticizes Apple for not unlocking Farook's iPhone 5c
Yesterday, BlackBerry CEO John Chen had some stern words aimed at his counterpart at Apple. During a Q&A session at the BlackBerry Security Summit, Chen said that 'the other fruit company" put itself ahead of society by refusing to unlock the Apple iPhone 5c that was used by deceased terrorist Syed Farook.

Chen said that he found Apple's actions 'disturbing.' "If the world is in danger, we should be able to help out," said BlackBerry's top executive. Despite his stance, the executive did say that he is against the idea of legislation forcing manufacturers to include a back door on their mobile devices. "There's proposed legislation in the U.S., and I'm sure it will come to the E.U., that every vendor needs to provide some form of a back door. That is not going to fly at all. It just isn't," Chen stated.

While Chen did chastise Apple for not unlocking Farook's phone, the truth is that Apple has unlocked numerous iPhone handsets for law enforcement agencies. What made Farook's iPhone special is that due to a password change made by the city of San Bernardino (where the incident took place), the only way to open the terrorist's iPhone would be to create a special version of iOS to unlock the device. Apple refused to comply with CEO Tim Cook stating that "the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone." Cook was worried that if the so-called Govt.OS was built, the code would be stolen which would have made every iPhone in the world vulnerable to having data and content stolen by a hacker. The FBI eventually paid to unlock Farook's iPhone, and nothing useful was discovered.

This isn't the first time that Chen criticized Apple's executives for putting the company ahead of society. Last year, Apple refused to open a meth dealer's Apple iPhone 5s leading Chen to write in the official BlackBerry Blog that "we are indeed in a dark place when companies put their reputations above the greater good."
source: AppleInsider



106. Gibscreen

Posts: 32; Member since: Jun 03, 2014

Hey Chen aren't you busy enough overseeing the downfall of BlackBerry? A strange comment coming from the security-conscious company.

109. PenTiltoKet

Posts: 552; Member since: May 18, 2016

He's trying to be in the news. He's afraid that no one will remember bb if he didn't make this non-sense.

69. BlackhawkFlys

Posts: 932; Member since: May 07, 2014

I hate Apple for a lot of things but, here John Chen is acting like a dirty politician who is always looking for a reason to blame another politician for something. Apple's stance was right in Farooq's case. Our privacies are already so much compromised. We can't allow governments anymore to spy on us in the name of security.

70. yoghibawono

Posts: 240; Member since: May 04, 2016

Actually what Chen said is very feasonable (unlock this one phone and no backdoor or special os for govt) . You know it i possible if Apple unlock farooqs phone the Govt wont ask any backdoor or special Os. Just open that goddamn one phone.

71. yoghibawono

Posts: 240; Member since: May 04, 2016

i forgot to proofread *reasonable * it is possible

46. deviceguy2016

Posts: 826; Member since: Jun 16, 2016

BB CEO is correct it's just one phone big deal, it's was a douche bag terrorist and wanted to see if he had other plans and stupid Tim Cook says they don't support terrorism but they must Tim had a cow over it!! It doesn't matter theses days no body has a safe phone anything anyplace can be hacked

30. xq10xa

Posts: 813; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Considering where John Chen is from. I wouldn't say they know much about privacy.

29. tenzin

Posts: 111; Member since: Dec 20, 2013

Chen killed bb10

163. PenTiltoKet

Posts: 552; Member since: May 18, 2016

Until there's a new BB10 phone, it could be save to say that's only FALSE PROMISE from BB.

26. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Let's see if he will open his "secured" phones.

18. TypicalGeek

Posts: 220; Member since: Feb 19, 2015

Chen needs to get the fact straight. Apple has been unlocking iphone for the Fed so many times before that. The fed didn't ask just that, they want a software to do that. Apple didn't agree to make a backdoor software for the Fed to unlock every iphone.

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 23069; Member since: May 28, 2014

Chen is correct. When it comes to terrorism and helping to save lives, Apple should have done all it can to help. They didn't. End of story. But of course, haters and trolls here will only talk about handsets in an effort to defect from the topic at hand, which is that Apple put its image before the greater good. Handsets are something that BlackBerry isn't focused on, because they are now a software and security services company.

19. kiko007

Posts: 7525; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

I'm not going to speak on BB handset wise because that doesn't pertain to this discussion, but I have to disagree with Chen's sentiment MG. I have several points to offer here: A) There's no correlation between the terrorist's phone and any actual plans or motivations. It's safe to say there was no evidence within the phone at all, seeing as they haven't published the findings to show otherwise. B) The government wasn't simply asking Apple to unlock the phone, they were asking for a backdoor for all extensive purposes. I'm sure you are aware that once a backdoor is established, it's basically impossible to close it completely. C) Who's to say that creating said backdoor was even possible? D) In theory this could have saved lives. However, considering the recent events in America, it is highly unlikely any of these officials could do anything to stop future attacks. Our current infrastructure just isn't equipped to stop this form of gorilla terrorism. Having said all that, these are two different organizations with two different stances. If we as individuals can have different opinions, why can't companies?

23. meanestgenius

Posts: 23069; Member since: May 28, 2014

Thank you for sticking to the topic at hand. Too many trolls and haters here do the opposite in an attempt to deflect from the topic at hand. And it doesn't just happen here, it happens in Apple related articles as well. While the eventual unlocking of the handset proved that their was no relevant information to be gathered from it, there was a possibility. Apple should have at least attempted to help, as they have done in the past. Apple could have still attempted to help while refusing to put in a backdoor. The government could not force them to do so, so they still could have attempted to help. ANY of these companies have the ability to create backdoor into their software. Whether it may or may not have helped in averting future attacks is something we will never know. The point is that Apple should have tried to help for the greater good. They could have done so without creating a backdoor. The phone was eventually unlocked anyway, so there's no way Apple themselves couldn't unlock it. They could have done so without putting in a backdoor. These companies can most certainly have a difference of opinions, as can all of us. I just think that when it comes to the greater good, everything should be done to help out in that retrospect *within reason*.

24. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

B) Your statement on B is incorrect. They askd for Apple to unlock that phone and to make an OS that would give them a backdoor. Now I sided with Apple against making Gov't OS which would allow the Feds/DOJ access to any phone. I was not against them unlocking this one single phone, as long as it didn't mean they had to unlock other phones too. The fact is, the Feds had a bunch of phones they wanted unlocked and if Apple ha unlocked the one, they basically would have been under great pressure to unlock them all. The fact is in this case, Apple was in a no-win situation. The fact that many other OEM's including other handset makes like Google, Samsung, Microsoft and non-headset makers like Intel all stood on Apples side, shows in this case Apple made the right call. Because we know thee Gov't wouldn't have stopped at one phone. Its that simple. I still stand by Apple for standing up for what is right in the long run. If the Feds had only requested unlocking one phone and made a written promise to not ask them to unlock more, then I would have said, because this is an extreme situation where lives were taken, Apple should be willing to help in this case. But the feds asked for more phones to be unlocked and a backdoor OS. But you really need to get your facts straight. The DOJ asked for both!

27. meanestgenius

Posts: 23069; Member since: May 28, 2014

I agree that Apple should NOT have created a backdoor or made a "special OS" for the government. I DO think that they could have taken that ONE phone, unlocked it without the government seeing how they did it, and given it back to them. No backdoor. No "special OS". No unlocking other phones.

43. TerryTerius unregistered

I wonder how tenable that really is. At the end of the day, government bodies around the world are going to want to get access to electronic devices for criminal investigations. Especially as our lives are only becoming more and more intertwined with the web. Either that's going to mean a serious beefing up of NSA style monitoring, an eventual forcing of some kind of back door, or some other extreme measure if companies do not want to cooperate and unlock devices. I'm not saying I agree with that, a world without unfettered gov access to personal electronics is the obvious and only correct choice. But, given how the real world works... something is going to have to give. One way or another, the status quo as is won't last.

44. meanestgenius

Posts: 23069; Member since: May 28, 2014

Unfortunately, that's the way the world is moving. While I'm like you, I don't believe the governments of the world should have access to whatever they want, when they want, I do believe in LAWFUL access *within reason*. However, with the way things are going, as you said, the status quo isn't going to last, which will eventually mean that governments are going to demand access whenever they want, and they'll do anything to get it. Off topic: It's ALWAYS a pleasure to converse with you here. With the exception of a few others on this site, conversing with PA users usually turns into something akin dirty donkey b@ll$ in 100 degree weather.

93. TerryTerius unregistered

Right. And I think that's exactly what the crux of the issue will be, defining exactly what it is and is not a reasonable request. I'm super late seeing this, but thanks my dude! it's always enlightening to talk with you as well.

28. kiko007

Posts: 7525; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"But you really need to get your facts straight. The DOJ asked for both!" I never said they didn't want it unlocked, I said they didn't JUST want it unlocked. By the time they had gotten their hands on the phone, the San Bernardino team had already locked it with their fiddling.

81. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Oh great, a techie post I actually agree with.

47. deviceguy2016

Posts: 826; Member since: Jun 16, 2016

Exactly MG Apple did sh.t nothing and Tim Cook says no to terrorism?? And worried about other iPhones compromised?? Ya right anytime anyplace any phone can be hacked or opened by law at a reasonable cause!! CHEN IS CORRECT!!!!

10. Fona13A unregistered

But Farook dindu nuffin chen

7. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 2012

Hopefully this brings a much needed attention to the brand. Psychology pros will say ALWAYS attack the top dog... it's easier to grab headlines that way. For a stupid person, he sure says dumb things. BlackBerry revenue and the entire business are still in free fall.. Fixing that is better than bashing other companies.

6. joevsyou

Posts: 1093; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

ya so blackberry that is known to be about security blasting other company for not failing to bypass security so the FBI can use them after The FBI changed the password less than 24 hours they had the phone which they should have been more worried about a crack in their own security with their agents, then spent millions on paying someone else to crack it because our government can't even do a simple job, Than on top of all that they f**king spill a glass of water on it... Then after getting it fixed they come out and announced that they didn't find anything valuable on it. f**k the FBI and this guy

8. justReLaxx

Posts: 31; Member since: Nov 03, 2015

^^^This is f**king awesome! I'm imagining it being read in Samuel L Jackson's voice

5. Rafishant

Posts: 412; Member since: Oct 13, 2015

There must be some kind of irony award for using a security summit to attack the use of strong encryption, and BlackBerry CEO John Chen seems determined to win it. "One of our competitors, we call it 'the other fruit company..." You mean the one founded in 1976, as compared to the one that was founded in 1984 under the name Research In Motion, which didn't have a product named after a fruit until 1999, and didn't rename themselves BlackBerry until 2013 in a poorly executed attempt to rebrand themselves? Chen, you are even worse than Stephen Elop. You totally destroyed everything legend about BlackBerry, and you don't know how to speak either! You were only great in firing employees, selling buildings, and shutting down departments. Give it up, the highest paid CEO in any Canadian company

20. TA700

Posts: 83; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Now Blackberry has to design something they can crack just in case they land themselves in the same situation Apple did.

4. SuperAndroid507

Posts: 361; Member since: Jan 06, 2014

Criticism coming from someone who is struggling to keep a company alive.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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