BlackBerry CEO John Chen took the time at his company’s Security Summit this week to once again rip Apple, “the other fruit company” to shreds for defending its encryption against the FBI regarding an iPhone used by a suspect in a mass shooting.
“I found that disturbing as a citizen. I think BlackBerry, like any company, should have a basic civil responsibility,” Chen said. “If the world is in danger, we should be able to help out.”
Apple refused to assist the Department of Justice in unlocking Syed Farook’s iPhone 5c. He and his wife were the alleged perpetrators of an attack on a San Bernardino, California, health services center that killed 14 people. The department was able to crack into that device using a third-party solution.
BlackBerry’s own attitude towards compliance with government data requests has been questioned. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police gained access to the company’s global encryption key for its BlackBerry OS devices in order to track down suspects that would end up involved in a gangland murder outside of Montreal. It is not known if BlackBerry gave the RCMP the key, but Chen unconditionally denies a giveaway.
“There’s some complete nonsense about what we can and can’t do. People are mad at us that we let the government have the data. It’s absolute garbage. We can’t do that.”
The executive also didn’t like the idea of crafting a mandatory backdoor to its encryption, citing the Investigatory Powers Bill in the UK undergoing legislative review.
“That is not going to fly at all. It just isn’t,” Chen said.
Source: The Inquirer
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