BlackBerry CEO gained't say whether or not he gave up encryption keys

BlackBerry CEO won't say whether he gave up encryption keys

Pau Barrena/Bloomberg by way of Getty Pictures

This is what we all know, because of an investigation by Motherboard and Vice: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have a key that unlocks encrypted messages on each single non-company BlackBerry. This is what we do not know: whether or not BlackBerry gave that key to the RCMP. BlackBerry CEO John Chen immediately penned a weblog publish in response to final week’s revelation that the RCMP unlocked greater than 1 million encrypted messages as a part of an operation referred to as Venture Clemenza, which led to seven males confessing their involvement in a homicide conspiracy.

Within the publish, Chen does not definitively say whether or not BlackBerry gave its encryption key to Canadian authorities, however he mentions the advantages of cooperating with regulation enforcement.

“We’ve lengthy been clear in our stance that tech corporations nearly as good company residents ought to adjust to affordable lawful entry requests,” he writes. “I’ve said earlier than that we’re certainly in a darkish place when corporations put their reputations above the larger good.”

BlackBerry makes use of two separate layers of encryption — its company BlackBerry units are related to enterprise servers that generate their very own encryption keys. All private BlackBerrys, nevertheless, use an similar peer-to-peer encryption key. That is the important thing the RCMP utilized in Venture Clemenza.

“At no level was BlackBerry’s [Business Enterprise Server] concerned,” Chen writes. “Our BES continues to be impenetrable — additionally with out the power for backdoor entry — and is probably the most safe cellular platform for managing all cellular units.”

Chen avoids naming any corporations immediately, however a part of its message appears to be aimed toward Apple. The corporate has been embroiled in excessive-profile authorized battles towards the Division of Justice over the bounds of encryption and privateness. Apple CEO Tim Prepare dinner has referred to as the FBI’s request to create a backdoor for its iPhones “unconstitutional” and “dangerous for America,” whereas the DoJ asserts Apple is standing in the best way of justice.

The encryption debate is heating up within the US. The Senate final week launched a last model of the Compliance with Courtroom Orders Act, which might require corporations to work with authorities to offer knowledge in a readable format when requested. The White Home has affirmed its opposition to the invoice and it is unlikely to turn into regulation.

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