Published in Mobiles

Blackberry open to the cops since 2010

by on15 April 2016

So much for that myth

Blackberry’s encryption security is a myth and the Canadian coppers have had access to every encrypted piece of data on its network since 2010.

While Blackberry might have had a lot of bad things going for it, one of its chief successes was its network security which was touted as impossible to crack. What was not known about it was that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police had a copy of the encryption key and could decode any message they liked.

According to Vice The information is in the middle of a stack of court documents that were made public after members of a Montreal crime syndicate pleaded guilty to their role in a 2011 gangland murder. Blackberry and telecommunications giant Rogers cooperated with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The Mounties intercepted and decrypted roughly one million PIN-to-PIN BlackBerry messages in connection with the probe. The key was code that could break the encryption on virtually any BlackBerry message sent from one device to another.

Needless to say the Canadian government spent almost two years fighting in a Montreal courtroom to keep this information out of the public record. BlackBerry has confirmed that it handed over the global encryption key, and fought against a judge's order to release more information about its working relationship with the coppers.

It does mean that Mounties have had access to Canadians' personal mobiles without the public being aware of it. While we know it was used in this court case there are probably other situations where a cracked blackberry has grassed up its owner.

Last modified on 15 April 2016
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