Blackphone: BlackBerry 'compromised its integrity' in security years ago, and has no right to criticise us

By Peter Gothard
17 Jul 2014 View Comments

Blackphone, manufacturer of the new super-secure, self-titled smartphone, has hit back against a blog by BlackBerry criticising its appearance in the market, questioning the Canadian firm's integrity in the arena of data privacy.

Responding to comments posted in a recent blog by BlackBerry's enterprise mobility strategist, Joe Garvey, who said Blackphone "may fall short of delivering the desired peace of mind" in the security space, Blackphone CEO Toby Weir-Jones pulled no punches when penning his own blog about BlackBerry's own security credentials.

Further reading

"Unfortunately, the world discovered in 2010 that RIM was willing to compromise its integrity if sufficient pressure was applied by governments intent on spying on the messages sent via the ubiquitous devices," said Weir-Jones.

"Various statements from the Saudi, UAE, Indian, and other telecom regulatory bodies all confirmed the same thing: RIM made it technically possible for the formerly-secret encrypted messages to be decrypted and viewed. Much speculation surrounds exactly what was done, and whether it remains in place today, but if anything there was more than one approach which achieved the same basic goal: a betrayal of the objectives of privacy," he continued.

Weir-Jones went on to cite "restrictive platform architecture", a "lack of widespread adoption by third parties" and "shifting priorities among large enterprise customers" as all contributing to a BlackBerry performance that "closed the book on RIM".

Garvey also said "Blackphone's go-it-alone approach to security contrasts dramatically with BlackBerry's end-to-end enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution", suggesting regulated financial services and healthcare firms could not benefit from the phone, which Blackphone has only ever publicised as being a commercial device.

Weir-Jones made it clear he had only written the blog as a way of "setting the record straight", suggesting BlackBerry was attempting to reduce any potential rivalry between the firms to "slinging mud".

"We only announced ourselves to the world this past January 15, and revealed the product on February 24," said Weir-Jones.

"Think how far we've come in such a short time, and what might be around the corner  -  we're pretty sure BlackBerry's already wondering about it. In the meantime, we'll spend our time innovating and growing due to our adoption by carriers and Fortune 1000 customers (including 27 of the Fortune 50, plus 11 international governments)".

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