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BlackBerry CEO uses security summit to once more attack Apple’s use of strong encryption


There must be some kind of irony award for using a security summit to attack the use of strong encryption, and BlackBerry CEO John Chen seems determined to win it. Speaking at the BlackBerry Security Summit, Chen said that he is ‘disturbed’ by Apple’s decision to work hard to keep its devices and messaging services secure, reports Patently Apple.

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.

This seems an odd stance for the CEO of a company founded on a supposedly secure messaging system, but it’s not the first time Chen has attacked Apple in this way.

He wrote a blog post last year accusing Apple of putting its own reputation above the greater good in the San Bernardino shooting case. Bizarrely, Chen has said this time that while BlackBerry has ‘a civic duty’ to help law enforcement, it is unable to decrypt data. So, er, just like Apple, then.

Since 2009, BlackBerry’s market share has fallen from a high of 20.1% to just 0.2% in the first quarter of this year. The company says that it is transforming itself into a software company, hoping to re-establish relevance through BlackBerry messaging apps on other platforms.

Photo: TeriRnNY

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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