Blackberry isn’t totally against backdoor smartphone access, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care about your privacy


Blackberry has been one of the biggest champions in the smartphone space when it comes to privacy. For years, they’ve been sworn on by individuals, corporations and even federal government bodies for the great lengths they go to ensure privacy and security. Their drums were beaten even louder with the Blackberry Priv, a device that promises to secure your data and ensure your privacy in the wake of increasing amounts of malware attacks in the mobile world.

But even Blackberry thinks that there has to be some sort of balance when it comes to encryption and security. According to a report by FedScoop, Blackberry COO Marty Beard suggests that while they would love to employ strict encryption policies — such as those where the even the companies who encrypt the data can’t even crack it — there exists a need to be flexible in order to work with law enforcement officials when and where it’s necessary.

BlackBerry PRIV intro video

That’s an interesting stance from Blackberry, but not one that is all that surprising when you think about it. For starters, we wouldn’t expect Blackberry to shun the needs and beliefs of some of their most important customers, that being the governments who rely on their phones for secure wireless communication. To that point, we also don’t blame Blackberry for putting backdoor access to encrypted devices into place if the sole reason for that is to comply with lawful requests for intercepting communication.

It’s a point of debate that’s only going to get increasingly hot from here on out, especially considering what happened in Paris just under a week ago. In that dreadful incident, early reports said that the attackers potentially coordinated their attacks on platforms which can’t be monitored, such as Sony’s PlayStation 4 (later reports suggested some of the communication was done on unencrypted devices over SMS).

That’s not to say that the terrorists’ plans would have been foiled if Sony, or whichever platform they used, had a backdoor system for listening in on conversations — there would still need to be high reason to listen in on specific conversations, and that would involve knowing that known terrorists are using the system at all — but in the current state of things they wouldn’t have had a choice.

Others — many others — will obviously feel different. Companies like Apple believe leaving backdoor access of any kind has the potential to be abused by those who it’s not intended for. Their stance is if you use that necessary evil to accept the good then you have to accept the bad that could come along with it.

With that said, we’re sure Blackberry knows what they’re doing when it comes to this balancing act they feel is necessary. They’ve been in this business for over 3 decades and with the trust of federal governments the world over we aren’t going to act like we know any better. That said,  it’s always good to ask questions, scrutinize and act on your own values and beliefs. If you don’t like Blackberry’s stance, well, there are some companies who will deliver exactly what you want, and you’re always free to go with them.

[via BitDefender]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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