Tech companies should comply with requests for lawful access to data, asserts BlackBerry chief executive officer John Chen. He was responding to an old case that surfaced recently about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canada's federal police managing to intercept and decrypt more than one million PIN-to-PIN BlackBerry messages during an investigation dubbed operation Clemenza between 2010 and 2012.
Chen in a official blog posting said, "I have stated before that we are indeed in a dark place when companies put their reputations above the greater good."
The investigation resulted in a major criminal organisation being dismantled. During the probe, neither RCMP nor BlackBerry revealed that the phone manufacturer had handed over the encryption key, and both of them fought against providing more information on the matter. However, the Crown prosecutors admitted the federal police service had access to the key, says an exclusive report by Vice News on how the Canadian police got access to BlackBerry's global encryption key.
"Regarding BlackBerry's assistance, I can reaffirm that we stood by our lawful access principles," added Chen and the fact that BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) is the most secure mobile platform.
"Furthermore, at no point was BlackBerry's BES server involved. Our BES continues to be impenetrable — also without the ability for backdoor access — and is the most secure mobile platform for managing all mobile devices. That's why we are the gold standard in government and enterprise-grade security," he said.