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Dying BlackBerry Tows Govt Line On Crypto


BlackBerry CEO John Chen said he is "disturbed" by Apple's tough
approach to encryption and user privacy, warning that the firm's
attitude is harmful to society. Earlier this year, Chen said in
response to Apple resisting the government's demands to unlock an
iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters: "We are indeed
in a dark place when companies put their reputations above the greater
good." During BlackBerry's Security Summit in New York this week, Chen
made several more comments about Apple's stance on encryption. "One of
our competitors, we call it 'the other fruit company,' has an attitude
that it doesn't matter how much it might hurt society, they're not
going to help," he said. "I found that disturbing as a citizen. I
think BlackBerry, like any company, should have a basic civil
responsibility. If the world is in danger, we should be able to help
out." He did say there was a lot of "nonsense" being reported about
BlackBerry and its approach to how it handles user information. "Of
course, there need to be clear guidelines. The guidelines we've
adopted require legal assets. A subpoena for certain data. But if you
have the data, you should give it to them," he said. "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." Chen also warned that mandatory back doors aren't a
good idea either, hinting at the impending Investigatory Powers Bill.
"There's proposed legislation in the U.S., and I'm sure it will come
to the EU, that every vendor needs to provide some form of a back
door. That is not going to fly at all. It just isn't," he said.

It should be noted that blackberry is losing government
sales due in part to its lineup of ancient and unsupported phones.