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RIM Co-CEO Cries 'No Fair' On Security Question 329

Posted by timothy
from the you-can't-ask-me-that dept.
bulled writes "When asked about letting governments in Asia and the Middle East into the 'secure' message service used by their BlackBerry devices, Mike Lazaridis, the co-chief executive of RIM, walked out of the interview and said, 'We've dealt with this, the question is no fair.' By 'dealt with,' we can only assume he meant: 'been paid handsomely to let governments read what they wish.'"
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RIM Co-CEO Cries 'No Fair' On Security Question

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 14, 2011 @07:38PM (#35823578)

    It's your right to walk away from an interview at any time. There's not even anything wrong with it unless you've specifically promised to answer all questions.

    However, this was still pretty rude and even silly of him. Some choice information-poor statements would probably have been much more effective than this - now it's been on the Slashdot and more importantly on the BBC News front page. He could just as well have said "we're doing something shady you don't like."

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 14, 2011 @07:55PM (#35823744)

      Well, sure. You have the right to walk away anytime. You have the right to walk out of class, out of work; unless you're in prison or the military, you always have the right to walk away.

      But how can he not anticipate this question? Its been the number 1 question of RIM for the last 24 months, and he thinks its *unfair* he was asked about it?

      He's either naive or an idiot. In either case, he was unprepared for an interview if he wasn't ready to talk about RIM's #1 issue.

      If I was a major shareholder, he wouldn't impress me.

      • by tukang (1209392) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @08:09PM (#35823884)

        But how can he not anticipate this question? Its been the number 1 question of RIM for the last 24 months, and he thinks its *unfair* he was asked about it? He's either naive or an idiot.

        Another possibility is that he's very aware that this has been a hot issue and had an agreement with the interviewer not to go into that. Maybe that's what he meant by "We've dealt with this" i.e. "You and I had an agreement not to talk about this". Not saying that's what happened but I wouldn't be surprised.

        • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Friday April 15, 2011 @01:31AM (#35825636) Journal

          It doesn't matter whether they had "a deal" or not (even though we've seen no evidence of a deal) because once that camera rolls that's your ass Mr CEO so you had damned well be ready for ANYTHING.

          All he has done is make RIM look like a Mickey Mouse operation with seriously shady dealings going on. Anyone want to bet this will do some damage to the stock price? Walking out of an interview might be fine for Crazy Charlie, but a CEO is supposed to not act like he is four years old. No fair? welcome to life Mr CEO, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

      • If I was a RIM shareholder, I wold have dropped them long ago when Apple and Google started eating their lunch and they decided not to do much about it.
    • Wrong Job (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Roger W Moore (538166) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @08:12PM (#35823908) Journal

      It's your right to walk away from an interview at any time.

      True. However if you are the CEO of a major international corporation and you cannot handle a reasonable, politely asked question from a major international media organization you are in the wrong job.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Actually CEO's are supposed to run companies - not do interviews.

        • Re:Wrong Job (Score:4, Insightful)

          by mario_grgic (515333) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @10:07PM (#35824748)
          That's a rather narrow meaning you have for "run the company". Part of running the company is building and projecting positive image about the company and that means a CEO who is acutely aware of the current hot issues pertaining to the company and who is prepared to diffuse the situation with a well thought out answer. I'm not even implying that he has to come up with the answer himself, that's what his team he has built is all about and that presumably includes lawyers etc, who could spin this issue however you want.
        • by grub (11606)
          So why was he giving an interview?
        • Re:Wrong Job (Score:5, Interesting)

          by pete6677 (681676) on Friday April 15, 2011 @12:25AM (#35825340)

          A CEO's job, above and beyond all else, is to sell the company. It is far more important than "running" the company which is usually done by a COO or someone like that.

  • IOW (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @07:38PM (#35823586)
    "It is not fair to ask us why we are putting our profits ahead of our customers' security needs."
    • Re:IOW (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 14, 2011 @07:46PM (#35823664)

      All these comments about this are little bit childish.. Like "By dealt with, we can only assume he meant 'been paid handsomely to let governments read what they wish.'" what the hell, you probably know fully well what he means.

      Look, there's nothing Blackberry can do about it and it's not their job. It's not like they would be able to fight it if USA was the same. It's the people in general who will need to deal with their governments, not some single random company that is just selling products for the market. Stop being childish and stop these immature comments. If you want, YOU go change those governments minds.

      • Re:IOW (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MetalFingers (1952272) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @08:03PM (#35823832)

        Look, there's nothing Blackberry can do about it and it's not their job.

        They are providing a device which boasts security. It is precisely their job. Instead, they've provided the technology for a government to snoop on their citizens communications. Where do i begin with the issues there?

        • Re:IOW (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Hes Nikke (237581) <slashdot@gotnate . c om> on Thursday April 14, 2011 @08:10PM (#35823888) Journal

          It's probably more fair to say, "They were given the choice to provided the technology for a government to snoop on their citizens communications, or suspend business in that governments jurisdiction." Sounds like chasing the dollar at the expense of their core competency to me.

          • And in a wonderful twist of fate, RIM's marketshare is still plummeting like Ashley Olsen's weight. Not only are they still imploding, but they've fucked over their remaining users. Truly epic.
      • by headhot (137860)

        The USA has courts, due process, and checks and balances. The middle east, not so much.

        • by inpher (1788434)

          The USA has courts, due process, and checks and balances. The middle east, not so much.

          USA is a nation, the middle east is a geographical region. Geographical regions does not have courts and such. Nations do.

          • by AK Marc (707885)
            So there is no court that applies to people in North America, but there are courts that apply to those in the US? You are making an incorrect and irrelevant distinction. There are courts covering 100% of the world, no matter how you choose to indicate that location (whether by geographical division or political division). And cultural similarities will often have geographical groupings that overlap political, or the other way around.

            But then, I think you knew all that, you knew he was right, but you, fo
      • Re:IOW (Score:5, Insightful)

        by funkatron (912521) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @08:04PM (#35823850)

        Look, there's nothing Blackberry can do about it and it's not their job. It's not like they would be able to fight it if USA was the same. It's the people in general who will need to deal with their governments, not some single random company that is just selling products for the market. Stop being childish and stop these immature comments. If you want, YOU go change those governments minds.

        Correct, it is not RIM's job to oppose shit governments. However, it IS RIM's job to tell you exactly what they are selling to you and this includes security implications. Failing to answer a simple question doesn't bode well on that front.

        • Re:IOW (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @10:25PM (#35824834)

          Ya that is really the only problem. Everyone who acts like RIM should stand up to them has little idea of how the world works. At best, it'll mean that Blackberrys get banned in that country and people just have to use some other communications the government can monitor. At worst RIM employees in that nation get arrested and so on. If a government says "You have to do this to sell products in our country," then your choice is to do it or to leave. Personally I think the right answer in a situation like this is to do as they ask.

          However, you do need to man up and declare what is going on. You need to say "Yes, these governments can access communications over the Blackberry messenger system, just like they can over any sort of cellular call in the country. It is required by law. So your communications are secure from third party snooping, but the government can access them."

          You do see the same shit in the US all the time. Read pretty much any privacy policy and it'll say something along the lines of "We will share your information with any law enforcement agency upon a lawful request." If the police show up with a wiretap warrant, well they'll give the police what they need.

          Same deal here, unfortunately these countries do not have the same system for due process as some other nations. That just means that the privacy policy needs to say "The government may monitor any of your communications if it wishes to."

          Doing it isn't the problem because frankly, for nations to keep advancing and get more human rights/due process communications is one of the key requirements. However it is a problem if they try to cover it up. Be honest.

      • Re:IOW (Score:5, Insightful)

        by icebike (68054) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @08:59PM (#35824232)

        Look, there's nothing Blackberry can do about it and it's not their job. It's not like they would be able to fight it if USA was the same. It's the people in general who will need to deal with their governments, not some single random company that is just selling products for the market. Stop being childish and stop these immature comments. If you want, YOU go change those governments minds.

        You are right that in the end, its not their job, but security and privacy has been one of their central claims for years and years. They have in the past made promises they they couldn't keep. These days are quietly backing off of these claims, you no longer see them, and are just like any other smartphone provider.

        Tthey are starting to put the proper perspective on it, buried deep in their FAQ [blackberry.com]:

        Is it necessary to use S/MIME or PGP to make the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution secure?

        All messages sent between BlackBerry smartphones and the BlackBerry Enterprise Server are encrypted. However, once a message goes to the mail server outside the corporate firewall, it’s sent over the Internet. This is exactly what happens when you send an unencrypted message from a desktop or laptop computer.

        The S/MIME and PGP solutions provide sender-to-recipient security from the moment a message leaves a BlackBerry smartphone to the moment it reaches its destination. This ensures the message can’t be read or modified anywhere along the way.

        Note that even the above is not technically true once you leave your campus.

        In the real world, this is the responsibility of the end-user. If Mr. Traveling Businessman doesn't know enough to use a mailer with PGP then he shouldn't be trusted with anything secret.

      • Look, there's nothing Blackberry can do about it and it's not their job. It's not like they would be able to fight it if USA was the same. It's the people in general who will need to deal with their governments, not some single random company that is just selling products for the market. Stop being childish and stop these immature comments. If you want, YOU go change those governments minds.

        I understand what you're saying, but it would be very refreshing to see a major company say something like "We are ceasing operations in country X because we are refusing to sacrifice the security of our customers." I mean, that's not exactly terrible for your reputation as a company, especially when you advertise security. I don't ever remember seeing that happen though. Google comes pretty close with China, but not quite.

      • human rights > profits.

        sorry, but you are just wrong.

      • by AK Marc (707885)

        Look, there's nothing Blackberry can do about it and it's not their job.

        They are doing bad things. If they are required to do those bad things by governments in exchange for being allowed into the market, then they are doing evil for profit. They can stop at any time. However, that would negatively affect profits. "There's nothing they can do about it" is simply false. They can fail to agree to opening up their networks to everyone who asks. It's quick. It's simple. And it fixes the problem. No need to change any government's minds.

      • RIM could refuse to do business in countries that require them to undermine their own customers' security. Of course, that would mean closing themselves off from certain markets, and thus losing profits...and so what I said was 100% correct.
      • by pla (258480)
        Look, there's nothing Blackberry can do about it and it's not their job.

        Of course they can do something about it - They can say "no".

        That, however, might cost them a few markets that allow overt suppression of free speech. Most of the civilized (western) world's governments might ask, but can't really get away with telling them they can't do business otherwise (can you picture that press conference? "Yeah, so we have this great new product, but Obama says we can't sell it in the US unless we BCC all
  • Sounds like he was taking exception with the wording of the question, but it's a real issue and it affects a lot of people. Including the leaders, celebrities, and teenagers who need to know if their government is reading their email.
    • by Rockoon (1252108) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @07:50PM (#35823702)
      Some questions really arent fair. Yes or No questions that imply things, for instance.

      Were you raping that underage transvestite midget crack whore last night?

      So you are saying that it wasnt rape.
      • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @08:50PM (#35824178)
        Instead of walking out, he could have replied with a "no comment" or "I've addressed that question already" and ask to move on. The Co-CEO got very defensive and ended the interview. If you're the head of a major corporation, you're going to have to field tough questions at times. Some of them might not be fair. But that's why they are supposed to get the big bucks.
      • Called a double binding question. By answering it, you are agreeing to the first part. Those questions are not fair, I also submit neither is enabling governments to read my customers email. Thank god I don't have to make those decisions or be in interviews.
        • by AK Marc (707885)
          The questions are easily answered if you don't answer yes/no questions with a yes or no. "Have you stopped beating your wife?" is a yes/no question where a yes/no answer indicates that one is a wife-beater. But the answer "I never started" answers the question completely.

          Secondly, why can't anyone transcribe these things? I'm often at work where I can't use sound, and even then skimming a 30 minute interview transcription takes less than 5 minutes, but if all I have is the video, there's no way to get a
  • "No fair"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NeuralAbyss (12335) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @07:42PM (#35823618) Homepage

    I think we can safely assume that Blackberry is about as secure as a wet paper bag in countries where the device has become "commercially successful" and the government is less than interested in maintaining privacy.

    Mentioining "national security" at the end of the video is a clear sign that RIM has well and truly given in on their claims of absolute security for the sake of maintaining a moderately-successful business.

    Never trust the security of communications where the keys are being handled by someone outside your organisation.

    • Re:"No fair"? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by wrook (134116) on Friday April 15, 2011 @12:25AM (#35825338) Homepage

      I think we can safely assume that Blackberry is about as secure as a wet paper bag in countries where the device has become "commercially successful" and the government is less than interested in maintaining privacy.

      I originally started to think, why not just say, "The secure channel may not be secure in countries that disallow full security". And then I thought, "Which ones are those"? Because presumably most of the countries that disallow a secure channel also don't want to advertise the fact. They would *like* people to use the "secure" channel so that they have a handy mechanism to track them (as opposed to having those people set up an actually secure channel).

      So, the really interesting question becomes, if they allow country X to snoop on the "secure channel", what about *my* country? How do I know that it isn't compromised?

      So it's not just in countries where the government is less than interested in maintaining privacy. It's useless in *every* country because can't tell which ones have been compromised. I suspect this is the real reason he doesn't want to answer the question. Because the next question would be, "Does the US/UK government have access?" and "How do we know if it does or doesn't"

  • whats not fair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NynexNinja (379583) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @07:46PM (#35823666)
    whats not fair is RIM backdooring their product to appease third word oppressive regimes.
  • by Immostlyharmless (1311531) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @07:46PM (#35823674)
    You can't advertise a service or a device as being secure, and then sell the keys to the locks to the highest bidder. Fuck RIM. I hope they burn. My wife wanted a blackberry on this last go round of upgrades. Nope.
    • My wife wanted a blackberry on this last go round of upgrades. Nope.

      Just out of curiosity, what did she get instead?

  • by mirix (1649853) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @07:50PM (#35823704)

    Goes to show that if you want security, use something you control. I don't want any government or corporation (benevolent or otherwise) with keys to my data.

    There's just way too much room for abuse. You have to assume anything that a third party has keys to isn't secure.

  • by fotbr (855184) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @07:51PM (#35823706) Journal

    He'll just avoid the whole question. Instead of, perhaps, explaining why the word used was unfair, and what was being done about the situation.

    Guess it's easier to just whine like a little kid about things being unfair, and when that didn't work, to pull out the "national security" trump card.

    Not that I was seriously considering a blackberry, but there's no way I'll buy anything from RIM now. I don't like whiners.

  • Idiot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mewsenews (251487) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @07:53PM (#35823728) Homepage
    Disclaimer: I'm Canadian but I own an iPhone, not a Blackberry. I saw the clip previously and didn't even know what he was talking about, and just thought it was exceptionally bad manners to walk out of a BBC interview. Now that I know that the question was about allowing foreign governments spy on foreign citizens, I find his response even more rude. Answer the damn question, man. If you are ashamed of what your company is doing then maybe you should find another job.
  • The question is "no fair" because it's singling them out as if they are any different than Google, Yahoo, or ANY COMPANY operating within a national boundary. Every company is bound to the laws of the nation in which it operates.

    It's also "no fair" because it's misleading: it makes it sound as if the chinese and some of those other "evil" nations are the only ones reading people's private communications. The only differnce between the chinese and the US is the chinese have laws clearly stating their objecti

    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      Twitter has stood up against government requests, so has Google, hell even SBC/AT&T. Not every company has a policy of caving.

      • you mean, that you're aware of or that you're told.

        I'm serious.

        privacy was a thing of last century. sad but that horse has left the barn. the current generation will grow up knowing that things they say over the phone or email, even inside their own country are 'fair game' if the gov wants to snoop.

        even the notion of 'hey, this is my private journal! no one is supposed to read this but me!' is now long, long gone. if its electronic, its fair game to the feds (any feds, any country; this isn't about the

    • by Thing 1 (178996)
      The law against it is the Constitution.
  • by cgenman (325138) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @08:00PM (#35823810) Homepage

    The RIM CEO called an end to an interview when he realized (after a minute and a half) that he was just being ambushed with a combative line of questioning. The interviewer had no interest in him answering the questions, he just wanted to make the CEO look bad in order to get ratings. This is, unfortunately or fortunately, rather common in british television. But in this case, it does seem genuinely unfair.

    The interviewer knows that governments demand access to people's communications. All American telcos give call logs and e-mail histories pretty regularly to the government. Same with British ones. In this case, *we* don't trust the Saudi's with our communications, yet we somehow trust the US government with them.

    Blackberry spent a lot of money building up a successful business in the middle east. Then they had to take their entire business offline while they added these backdoors for the government. When the king holds your entire business for ransom, with the requirement that you do for them what you do for every other government out there, you do it. Whining and complaining about RIM's "security problems" is just childish. And ambushing the CEO on film in an attack segment to make him look bad for something that he, and everyone else was forced to do, is definitely not fair.

    • by unity100 (970058) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @08:13PM (#35823918) Homepage Journal

      When the king holds your entire business for ransom, with the requirement that you do for them what you do for every other government out there, you do it. Whining and complaining about RIM's "security problems" is just childish.

      what the fuck does the above even BEGIN to mean ?

      so, if a king holds your business ransom, you can do ANYthing, and its ok, and those who question unethical doings, are 'childish' ?

      'whine' word usage is attention-catching there. so, now when someone complains about unethical dealings of a 'business', it becomes a whine ?

      what kind of fucked up reasoning is that ?

      really. are you a fucking moron, or a troll ?

      no, no, dont excuse the rough language. since you shattered the barrier to ethics on grounds of 'business needs', i had had taken the liberty of shattering the barrier to ethics of civil correspondence, on a random ground of my choosing.

    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @08:18PM (#35823934) Journal

      The RIM CEO called an end to an interview when he realized (after a minute and a half) that he was just being ambushed with a combative line of questioning. The interviewer had no interest in him answering the questions, he just wanted to make the CEO look bad in order to get ratings. This is, unfortunately or fortunately, rather common in british television.

      I respect British Journalists far more than I respect American ones because the Brits are always willing to go into interviews and hammer away at uncomfortable questions.

      I enjoy watching the Q&A sessions in Parliment for much the same reasons.

      But in this case, it does seem genuinely unfair.

      Asking for the truth is never unfair.

      When the king holds your entire business for ransom, with the requirement that you do for them what you do for every other government out there, you do it. Whining and complaining about RIM's "security problems" is just childish.

      Time and time again the western world has been bitten in the ass by what it has enabled in developing nations.
      Complaints about Western companies enabling repressive governments is not "childish"

      • by cgenman (325138) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @09:13PM (#35824378) Homepage

        I definitely think the British system of asking hard questions is usually superior to the American system of being desperately afraid of offending their guests. But in this case, it was clearly framed in a sensationalist and unfair way.

        Complaints about Western companies enabling repressive governments is completely legitimate. If the interviewer had asked "How do you plan on guaranteeing privacy to your customers in the territories that have demanded universal access?" that might be legitimate. If the interviewer initiated a legitimate discussion about the requirements of balancing customer and government requirements in oppressive regimes, it would have been a great segment.

        That's not what the interviewer asked. The interviewer asked, for a minute and a half, over and over in a hostile cross-examination fashion, if they were going to fix their "security problems." And all of the comments here are along the line of "RIM decided to screw their customers for massive piles of cash!" That's not a discussion, and that's not adding anything to the overall knowledge pool.

        • by TubeSteak (669689)

          If the interviewer initiated a legitimate discussion about the requirements of balancing customer and government requirements in oppressive regimes, it would have been a great segment.

          LoL. How do you propose balancing customer and government "requirements" in oppressive regimes?
          Customer: I want security.
          Government: I want to know everything the Customer is doing.
          RIM: Hmmm... Okay Government.

          That's not what the interviewer asked. The interviewer asked, for a minute and a half, over and over in a hostile cross-examination fashion, if they were going to fix their "security problems."

          Here's where the interview ended

          Question: You can confidently tell them they're going to have no problems with being able to use their blackberrys and you being able to give them assurance that everything [CEO: it's over.] [RIM PR Lady offscreen: mumble mumble] is going to be secure

          Response: you just can't use that word. it's just not fair. it's not fair. we've dealt with this. it's a national security issue. turn that off.

          The RIM CEO killed the interview because he can't assure users in the Middle East and Asia that their blackberry experience is secure.
          The CEO of a multinational corporation ended an interview because he can't assure users of his product's security.
          What discussion is the

          • by cgenman (325138) on Friday April 15, 2011 @12:07AM (#35825262) Homepage

            The RIM CEO killed the interview because he can't assure users in the Middle East and Asia that their blackberry experience is secure.
            The CEO of a multinational corporation ended an interview because he can't assure users of his product's security.
            What discussion is there to be had?

            The RIM CEO killed the interview because he realized that the interviewer had gone hostile, and probably had intended to go hostile the entire time. And when faced with a hostile interviewer, you end the interview. I don't care how good your reasoning is, if it becomes clear that the person who gets to edit the interview has decided to show you in a negative light, nothing you can say will help. You walk away. Interviewing 101.

            In a lot of ways, Blackberry did the responsible thing: they told their customers what was happening. Customers who need security from government snooping can take additional precautions, while the average businessman can continue to use their Blackberries in said countries. As these are by and large blanket government mandates, making a stand of "Let's boycott this horrible regime!" would have just driven their customers to someone else who also has to install government backdoors. Singling out RIM for this is foolish.

            Saying that Blackberry is insecure because of this is disengenious. It could potentially be very secure. It's just the people who it is secure to may not be the people that you want it to be, and they are very upfront about that.

            But more than that, when the interviewer goes hostile, walk away. Having been on both sides of the equation, arguing with the interviewer will never help. The direction of the segment has been decided, and all you're doing is giving the editor fodder. That's just how it goes. Walk away.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          And all of the comments here are along the line of "RIM decided to screw their customers for massive piles of cash!"

          Is that somehow NOT what they did? Now you sound like a hooker who's mad that somebody implied she has sex with people for money. Do you think RIM sells Blackberries because it gives them the warm fuzzies?

    • If - say - Charlie Sheen joins the cast of a Broadway show, and agrees to sit for an interview, he'd be an idiot not to expect questions regarding issues proceeding the show.

      A large part of RIM's value-add is their security. That security was compromised in certain parts of the world. If the RIM CEO has new h/w to show off, and agrees to sit for an interview, he would be an idiot not to expect questions regarding that compromise. He had the option to address it directly, to talk around it, or to try to b.s.

    • by TheSunborn (68004)
      So you are saying he is laying? If "they had to take their entire business offline while they added these backdoors for the government" then he is laying when he is saying that "We have no security problem" and "We have the most secure platform available"

      And how did the thing become a question of "national security" (Which is his final argument for ending this thing). I mean the only way to argue national security is if they give their own government access to data.

      And complaining about being "singled out"
    • by rhizome (115711)

      What is it with RIM supporters and the word, "childish?" Pretty odd for that word to be cropping up so much in this context, and only on one side of the argument.

      So given that all of what you describe is just par for the course and to be expected, why doesn't the CEO think he can talk about it? If what you assert was true, he would have been well-placed to educate us all on what you just said. "Hey guys, I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but we all sell your text messages to the FBI." Plain and simp

  • Does the person posting this really think that RIM is happy to hand over data to foreign governments? They make their money off of business users who will not be happy about this change. They simply have no choice when governments say give us access or we will ban you. I don't know hope anybody could think that it is in RIM's business interests to make its valuable business customers' data available to foreign governments.
  • It's been spoken to ad naseum. Let them in, or be locked out. They chose to stay in. It's not like people there don't KNOW it isn't secure. It would be different if they where doing this without any sort of notice to the users.

  • His statement at the end of "this is a national security issue, turn that off" is the obvious smoking gun. This strongly suggests RIM are providing backdoors for Saudi and Indian governments (otherwise he could have just said they weren't), and clearly RIM either do not want to talk about it (or are legally enjoined from doing so).

    In some sense, the CEO is being honest. He could have just denied it was happening. So kudos to him.

    But the problem runs deeper. Saudi, for instance, has a corrupt government with

  • by PPH (736903)

    The Blackberry's claim to fame in the corporate world is their willingness to hand back office operations over to its corporate customers. RIM can't read this data. It just passes it on to the appropriate server. Only personal Blackberrys use RIM servers (where the data presumably can be read). Data from corporate devices can be read by their respective back office IT staff (and frequently is).

    Foreign countries can act just act like corporations. If they want to read the data, they can operate their own ba

  • by Sasayaki (1096761) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @08:42PM (#35824126)

    Honestly, now, let's just play the devil's advocate here.

    Everyone knows now that RIM allows middle eastern governments to read whatever. Maybe that admission isn't such a bad thing- I mean, it's disclosure and it's honest. They're being open and honest about potential issues with their service, therefore allowing their customers to make an informed choice.

    I mean, who would you rather trust? Company A, who says "Yes, with proper warrants and the like, your government- the one you chose either by democratic process or by inaction against tyranny- can read whatever they want. They have to ask us to provide it and we do. This means if you're planning to assassinate the King of Unspecifiedistan, it's probably not a good idea to SMS it to your friend, since you'll go to prison in short order."

    Or Company B, who says, "Nope! Our stuff is 100% secure. Completely safe. No security holes exist now, nor will they ever. Your secrets are safe from the government if you give them to us! If you wanna shoot the King of Unspecifiedistan, this is the place to yak on about it!"

    Let's be real about this for just one second. RIM is a very (very) large company with a huge legal team and a vested interest in their customers privacy, yet the governments in question still got to them.

    Do you honestly think that other (smaller) companies haven't got equally bad, or worse, backdoors in their systems?

    And if you acknowledge that fact... where would you rather make sensitive communications? On a very crowded, very busy, large network which presumably has millions of messages to filter- where one single message might slip through the cracks, or be accidentally labelled a false positive... or a much smaller network without such a (presumably) unwieldy system?

    • size of network does not matter. bots reading mails, realtime (with hardware assist, no less. not kidding, either; its the new wave of routers) don't miss messages, don't get tired, don't NOT spy.

      the current gen of switch hardware is ALL about dpi and even giving evil and 'friendly' gov's full packet (bit level) access. writing 'apps' that run on platforms (the router is the platform) is all about giving gov's access to your bit level comms. AT WIRE FRIGGEN SPEEDS, no less, since they are now an app on

  • by westlake (615356) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @08:50PM (#35824180)

    By dealt with, we can only assume he meant 'been paid handsomely to let governments read what they wish.'"

    Tell me why you get to assume that.

  • by dave562 (969951) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @10:20PM (#35824816) Journal

    If I were a RIM shareholder, I would be dumping their stock and not looking back. The last leg that they had to stand on in the enterprise market was their reputation for security. It seems that more and more corporations are embracing ActiveSync for their Exchange to smart phone email conduit. Hell, even Apple licensed ActiveSync from Microsoft and incorporated into iOS. If that is not handing writing on the wall, what is?

    I work for a pretty security conscious corporation that has a lot of legal liability for keeping client data secure. Our laptops are running PGP FDE, we have to use VPNs for practically everything, the only USB drives we can plug into the corporate machines are IronKeys, etc. I figured we'd be one of the last places to ever ditch BES, but the mandate just came down a couple of months ago. By 2012, everyone is going to be on an iPhone or Droid. RIM is going to be out about 5000 BES licenses. We can't be the only one deciding to ditch RIM.

    What else does RIM have left? Some cheesy "Playbook" that they are hoping can compete against the iPad and Android? Yeah right.

    On top of all of that, their top level executives cannot even handle a curve ball question during a televised interview. That ship is sinking, fast.

  • They are not the only corporation that has to give up encryption keys and deal with other nonsense to do business in foreign countries. The other day I was talking to a guy who used to work for Accenture. He was telling me that it was standard operating procedure to be contractually required to give up encryption keys for applications when doing work in Asia and the Middle East. It's like the dirty little secret of corporate America. If you want to do business overseas, you have to roll over on some iss

  • by Nyder (754090) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @10:36PM (#35824906) Journal

    In Soviet Russia All Backdoors ARE RIM(med)!

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