BlackBerry's response: RIM statement in full

Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, hits back to reassure customers on security

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BlackBerry's response: RIM statement in full RIM has stressed the need for secure communications for customers. (Getty Images)
By  Joanne Bladd Published  August 3, 2010

Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry, hits back to reassure customers on security.

Dear Valued BlackBerry Customer:

Due to recent media reports, Research In Motion (RIM) recognizes that some customers are curious about the discussions that occur between RIM and certain governments regarding the use of encryption in BlackBerry products. RIM also understands that the confidential nature of these discussions has consequently given rise to speculation and misinterpretation.

RIM respects both the regulatory requirements of government and the security and privacy needs of corporations and consumers. While RIM does not disclose confidential regulatory discussions that take place with any government, RIM assures its customers that it is committed to continue delivering highly secure and innovative products that satisfy the needs of both customers and governments.

Many public facts about the BlackBerry Enterprise Server security architecture have been well established over the years and remain unchanged. A recap of these facts, along with other general industry facts, should help our customers maintain confidence about the security of their information.

  • • RIM operates in over 175 countries today and provides a security architecture that is widely accepted by security conscious customers and governments around the world.
  • Governments have a wide range of resources and methodologies to satisfy national security and law enforcement needs without compromising commercial security requirements.

  • • The use of strong encryption in wireless technology is not unique to the BlackBerry platform. Strong encryption is a mandatory requirement for all enterprise-class wireless email services.

  • • The use of strong encryption in information technology is not limited to the wireless industry. Strong encryption is used pervasively on the Internet to protect the confidentiality of personal and corporate information.

  • • Strong encryption is a fundamental requirement for a wide variety of technology products that enable businesses to operate and compete, both domestically and internationally.

  • • The BlackBerry security architecture was specifically designed to provide corporate customers with the ability to transmit information wirelessly while also providing them with the necessary confidence that no one, including RIM, could access their data.

  • • The BlackBerry security architecture for enterprise customers is based on a symmetric key system whereby the customer creates their own key and only the customer ever possesses a copy of their encryption key. RIM does not possess a "master key", nor does any "back door" exist in the system that would allow RIM or any third party to gain unauthorized access to the key or corporate data.

  • • The BlackBerry security architecture for enterprise customers is purposefully designed to exclude the capability for RIM or any third party to read encrypted information under any circumstances. RIM would simply be unable to accommodate any request for a copy of a customer's encryption key since at no time does RIM, or any wireless network operator, ever possess a copy of the key.

  • • The BlackBerry security architecture was also purposefully designed to perform as a global system independent of geography. The location of data centers and the customer's choice of wireless network are irrelevant factors from a security perspective since end-to-end encryption is utilized and transmissions are no more decipherable or less secure based on the selection of a wireless network or the location of a data center.

  • • All data remains encrypted through all points of transfer between the customer's BlackBerry Enterprise Server and the customer's device (at no point in the transfer is data decrypted and re-encrypted).

RIM assures customers that it will not compromise the integrity and security of the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution.

2692 days ago
MindSmith

Almost laughable; is the fact that RIM intentionally ignore the fact that Blackberry is US CALEA (Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, 1984) compliant; which allows Law enforcement in the US to access Blackberry communications of Blackberry customers. RIM provides similar facilities. This means that Blackberry (Rather RIM) can and do provide the services being requested by the UAE and other Gulf countries. So beyond the marketing ‘hype’ that Blackberry are trying to use to supposedly ‘re-assure’ users worldwide about the commitment to privacy; they intentionally neglect to state that they do allow other governments such as the US access to the communications even of non-US based Blackberry users. Somehow that failed to make it into their press release or even website. Yet again we have too many PR people pushing too many double-standards and being selective with the facts.

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