Jun 17, 2013

Will reports of how easy it was for GCHQ to intercept BlackBerry devices hurt the company?

One of the recent revelations from Edward Snowden was that British spies intercepted G20 delegates’ BlackBerry messages and calls in real time at the 2009 summit. The thing that surprised me was that BlackBerry seemed to have been singled out as easy to intercept, when one of the main selling points of BB is that it is more secure than other mobile devices. With this news nearly coinciding with the US release of new BlackBerry models, will it damage the company reputation for security and dampen sales?

Blackberry is a dying platform. At this point, does any of it really matter?

2009 was four years ago, an eternity in the development of mobile applications and OSes. I don’t know how much what happened then reflects the current situation. I know that BB has agreed to grant governmental agencies access to BBM in the past (India?), as a requirement of doing business there. I seriously doubt anyone is going to reveal exactly how easy it is to intercept the current model of any device, so it's hard to say how much difference there is between them. Plus, as far as government monitoring is concerned, they can just look at the records from your carrier, so I don’t know how much functional difference it would make anyway.

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