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BlackBerry CEO breaks ranks to advocate compliance with ‘reasonable’ government data requests


By John Glenday, Reporter

April 19, 2016 | 1 min read

BlackBerry has broken ranks with a nascent industry consensus behind Apple’s hard line stance against acquiescing to government requests for customer data, by advocating compliance with ‘reasonable’ requests.

CEO John Chen outlined the company’s stance in a blog post following reports that it had been working with Canadian police to intercept and decrypt over a million secure messages sent via BlackBerry devices.

Chen wrote: “Regarding BlackBerry’s assistance, I can reaffirm that we stood by our lawful access principles.

“We have long been clear in our stance that tech companies as good corporate citizens should comply with reasonable lawful access requests. I have stated before that we are indeed in a dark place when companies put their reputations above the greater good."

Reports published last week suggest that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had obtained an encryption key for BlackBerry’s messaging service, enabling them to intercept communications as part of criminal investigations.


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