Monday, August 09, 2010

BlackBerrys and encryption: Spies, secrets and smart-phones | The Economist

An excerpt from a critical review of RIM’s privacy tight-rope act in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere

All this leaves RIM in a difficult situation. It doesn't want to be, and perhaps may not be able to be, entirely open about what sort of access to messages it offers the authorities in different countries. The trouble is, as it notes in its statement, it has to a large degree built its brand on the supposed uncrackability of BlackBerry messages—more than rival brands have done. The feature that set its products apart from other smart-phones is now being thrown into doubt: and at an especially awkward time. The launch last week of the new generation BlackBerry, the Torch, was overshadowed not just by the disputes with various governments over monitoring, but by a Nielsen survey which showed that, unlike iPhone and Android users, only a minority of BlackBerry owners are thinking of buying another BlackBerry next time. The company's evasiveness on the security issue is hardly going to encourage them to stay loyal.

BlackBerrys and encryption: Spies, secrets and smart-phones | The Economist

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