BlackBerry Ltd CEO Again Attacks Apple’s Approach To Encryption

BlackBerry Ltd CEO Again Attacks Apple’s Approach To Encryption

The BlackBerry Security Summit kicked off Tuesday in New York. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, was unhappy with Apple CEO Tim Cook for not attending a hearing on encryption last week, and BlackBerry CEO John Chen grabbed this chance to score, according to Patently Apple.

BlackBerry CEO took a dig at Apple again

At the Security Summit, Chen said he has been “disturbed” by Apple’s performance and hard work in keeping its devices and messaging services secure.

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“One of our competitors, we call it ‘the other fruit company’, has an attitude that it doesn’t matter how much it might hurt society, they’re not going to help […] I found that disturbing as a citizen,” Chen said.

There is a need for “clear guidelines,” Chen said, adding that “the guidelines we’ve adopted require legal assets. A subpoena for certain data. But if you have the data, you should give it to them.”

It appears very unusual for a CEO like Chen, who is known for building a secure messaging system, to attack and assault Apple in this way, and this is not the first time he has done it. Last year in a blog post, he again blamed Apple for putting its reputation above the greater good in the San Bernardino shooting case.

Has Apple been cooperative?

In contrast to Chen’s claims, Apple has complied with thousands of warrants seeking customer data. Also the iPhone maker does provide information when it is sure the order is valid. The company even has a team to handle such matters. When the investigation of the San Bernardino case was in process, Apple contributed to its level by providing initial data and assistance to the FBI in less than three days after the request was made, says Apple Insider.

Despite Chen’s stance towards the Department of Justice’s battle with Apple, he disagrees with lawmakers’ demand for mandatory encryption workarounds. Chen noted that proposed legislation in the U.S. requires every vendor to design some form of a back door, and he is sure that this will come to the EU as well.

“That is not going to fly at all. It just isn’t,” Chen said.

Since 2009, BlackBerry’s market share dropped from 20.1% to just 0.2% in the first quarter of the year. The Canadian firm is in the process of transforming itself into a software company, hoping to reestablish its importance through its messaging applications on other platforms.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at
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