BlackBerry devices were used by Hillary Clinton and other State Department officials for exchanging information that “would never be on an unclassified system,” admitted a State Department official, as shown in a video. Ed Henry of Fox News presented the video on Monday.
Clinton used “unclassified system” for official work
A 2013 video shows Wendy Sherman discussing how diplomats, including Clinton, made use of their BlackBerry devices during negotiations with foreign officials. Sherman served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs during the Obama administration.
During a conference for the American Foreign Service Association in 2013, Sherman said, “Now we have Blackberries, and it has changed the way diplomacy is done. Things appear on your Blackberries that would never be on an unclassified system, but you’re out traveling, you’re trying to negotiate something.”
Sherman cited a September 2011 meeting between Clinton and other officials at the UN General Assembly with Lady Catherine Margaret Ashton, then-vice president of the European Commission, as an example. This meeting was to discuss Middle East peace negotiations.
“And so they sat there, as they were having the meeting, with their Blackberries, transferring language back and forth between them and between their aides to multitask in quite a new fashion, to have the meeting and at the same time be working on the quartet statement,” Sherman said in the video.
BlackBerry hardware – what options does it have?
BlackBerry’s hardware, which is a trusted phone of politicians, is no longer fruitful for the company and is losing both money and subscribers at a very fast pace. Scotia Capital analysts believe the Canadian company will reach a “critical juncture” this year on what to do with its hardware business.
In a research note last week, analysts outlined a trio of strategic options for the Canadian firm. BlackBerry can opt to exit the segment altogether for a one-time cost of about $100 million. Or the company can license the BlackBerry brand or operating system to some other equipment manufacturer or opt for continuing operations, provided the hardware segment reaches profitability.
The BlackBerry Priv’s success will play a major role in deciding the option the company chooses. Meanwhile, the company is evolving into an enterprise software provider and in the process could acquire companies in the next two years, analysts believe.