I know what you’re thinking, you weren’t planning to buy a Blackberry anyways. The company is so far behind the technological curve that it has become almost entirely irrelevant. But I know two people who purchased Blackberry phones within the last five years so I assume there may be a few other people who have been using the platform for ages and want to continue doing so. For them this post is a warning. Don’t buy a Blackberry unless you want to be treated like a criminal:
John Chen, the Blackberry chairman and CEO, is ripping Apple’s position that granting the authorities access to a suspected criminal’s mobile device would “tarnish” the iPhone maker’s image.
“We are indeed in a dark place when companies put their reputations above the greater good. At BlackBerry, we understand, arguably more than any other large tech company, the importance of our privacy commitment to product success and brand value: privacy and security form the crux of everything we do. However, our privacy commitment does not extend to criminals,” Chen wrote in a blog post titled “The encryption Debate: a Way Forward.”
What Apple has promised customers is it is unable to gain access to user data under any circumstances. In other words Apple is promising users that it utilizes cryptography that isn’t compromised in such a way to allow a third party access. Blackberry, on the other hand, is stating it will cooperate with law enforcement requests for user data. To do that it must utilize cryptography that is compromised in such a way to allow third party access. Such a scheme, if used under the auspices of giving law enforcers access to criminal data, necessarily treats all users as potential criminals.
Furthermore, what is the “greater good”? That’s such a nonsensical term. It requires the person uttering it to be so egotistical that they believe they know what’s best for everybody. I doubt anybody has knowledge so perfect that they know what is best for all seven billion people on this planet. Realistically it’s just a euphemism for what is best for the State, which is always at odds with what is best for the individual.
You don’t have to take my word for it though. The people have a voice in this matter through the market. Anybody who truly believes Apple is being detrimental to society by not cooperating with law enforcers can buy a Blackberry device. Something tells me this statement by Chen isn’t going to cause an uptick in Blackberry sales. If anything it will likely cause a drop (if it’s even possible for Blackberry sales to drop any lower) since most people don’t seem overly enthusiastic about being spied on.