The revelation that Blackberry’s global encryption key is in the hands of Canadian law enforcement supposes that the company’s reason for existence has vanished.
November 2011. A shooting body appears on an island north of Montreal, and all police alarms immediately go off. The deceased wanted to run the Montreal crime syndicate, and paid this affront to his life.
For the state security forces, this death was indicative of what was yet to come, but also an opportunity. If they manage to associate this death with the right people, they can deal a heavy blow to organized crime in the city. But for that, they needed the help of Blackberry.
How the Blackberry global encryption key ended up in the hands of third parties
Then, the Canadian mounted police called them, ensuring they had just what they needed: conversations from the days before the murder in which four people planned the attack; The mounted police had been behind these suspects for a time, and thanks to the collaboration they were able to be arrested.
With these conversations, it has been easy to get a conviction for a murder conspiracy (although it is not known who fired the shot); But at the trial, the defendants had an indiscreet question: How had the mounted police gained access to the talks, if they had not been done over the phone or had microphones installed in their homes?
Well, because the mounted police had gone to the Rogers operator and to Blackberry, and he had gained access to his Blackberry conversations and had decrypted them using a global encryption key. Not just any key, the key that Blackberry uses to encrypt all communications in all its products. Yes, that one.
As simple as that, and in black on white, the mounted police confessed that since 2010 it had the power to decipher millions of conversations worldwide, as Vice exclusively announces.
Blackberry reveals all its secrets to the Canadian police
It is unclear who released the key, but if the police and Blackberry are known to have maintained continuous contact throughout the case, with letters in which the police appreciated the collaboration of Blackberry. Since then, the Canadian mounted police have deciphered a million Blackberry PIN-to-PIN messages; It is not known where the key is stored, or if it has been shared with other agencies or countries.
Of course, this is not something they were interested in being made public, andGovernment and Blackberry attorneys spent years fighting in court to keep this information secret.. During the hearing, the judge even went so far as to raise the possibility of making the key public, something that Blackberry strongly opposed, knowing that it would be his end.
The death of someone who was a benchmark in security
Said directly, Blackberry is dying. You are not finding the site you want, your hardware division is irrelevant and your attempts to conquer the Android market with secure apps designed for the company and professionals are not giving the results they expected.
The question is not whether Blackberry will die; the question is whether to die in months or years. And with the publication of this case, this end is closer than ever, because it has been discovered that the only thing that made Blackberry special is a huge and embarrassing lie.
Security is the very foundation of Blackberry products; if we enter its website, we will see an announcement of itsPriv model with the slogan The privilege of privacy, now with Android. Except that that privilege does not exist, or at least not with any Blackberry product, until proven otherwise.
We have a very recent case of the iPhone that the FBI wanted to unlock with the help of Apple; At that time, many people saw Apple’s refusal to create a back door as posture, or directly as treason. But, What if Blackberry had fought at the time as much as Apple did?
Both cases are strikingly similar, in that it was clear in both cases that the police had good reasons for accessing the telephone systems, and that the consequences were too severe to ignore. But somehow, Blackberry knew that its key was in the hands of third parties, and did not say anything or fight to avoid it.
Everything we think we know about Blackberry security is false, and therefore the only reason to buy a Blackberry has disappeared.