1. SaintThomasAquinas's Avatar
    Given the News of NSA spying and most recently the heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability disclosure we as Blackberry enthusiasts have spared no opportunity (perhaps rightly so) to remind everyone and anyone that Blackberry and RIM have a well established track record in being as secure or much more secure than most or all other product choices.

    Then we have tons of Blackberry fans complain about not having the latest Social Apps as native in App World. It seems ironic that while we celebrate Blackberry as being among the most secure we complain and demand the Apps made by the very same companies who have been documented to be exploiting their access to our data. Which is admittedly given up freely and eagerly by everyone.

    Full disclosure I do not develop encryption algorithms or security software for a living or even as a hobby. My job is as a systems administrator dealing specifically with Unix and Linux. It is a person such as myself which installs and configures OpenSSL on web servers that are then put into production and used in Government, Financial Institutions, and Private Enterprise. We troubleshoot it when it fails. Patch it when it is vulnerable and hope we don't get caught with too much downtime or called in the middle of the night.

    So if we want security, real security it can be had but like anything their are costs or tradeoffs associated with achieving that security. No Twitter, no Facebook, No Instagram, No Google+, etc. Just BBOS or BB10 Native app only and definitely no Social Apps. To get good security you will need BES and well I think you know where this is headed. No Maps, get a GPS for the car or a handheld Garmin. Which then means you have a Phone with great battery life, cause no apps to suck that dry. You will have very secure email since you will use BES which is a good as we can hope for at the moment. Basically your Phone would have to be not much more than a PDA with Phone capability. I am fine with that myself but how many of the rest of us that talk about security really are ready to make the sacrifices to get as close as they can without being too inconvenienced?

    There are all kinds of other parts to this conversation such as can Blackberry be saved by focusing on security even when that vast majority only give it lip service. We all read and participate in these forums comments like everyone should just go Blackberry and be more secure. If only it were that simple. The truth is people have come to expect that they can have Mobile Utopia. A phone that will do anything twice as fast as any others. A phone twice as secure as any others with twice the available accessories at half the cost as the other phone brands and with twice the apps and monthly data.

    How secure anything is can only be determined by two factors. The tools built into the platform both in quality and quantity as well as whether they are utilized or not. Tell me, how many of us are really willing to make the sacrifices to make even the Blackberry Platform more secure? Would you be willing to carry an iPod or Tablet in addition to your Blackberry so that you did not need to load apps on your Berry?
    04-14-14 09:44 PM
  2. masterful's Avatar
    Great post. I like your writings and hope to hear more from you

    ? Slicing using my ?
    04-14-14 09:55 PM
  3. SaintThomasAquinas's Avatar
    Thank You Masterful. Hopefully this will get another good conversation started. The draw of Blackberry is so strong that I cannot stay away.
    04-14-14 09:59 PM
  4. masterful's Avatar
    I honestly don't use application and yes I will carry additional devices for other purposes. My phone is purely pim services but that is one out of how many

    ? Slicing using my ?
    04-14-14 10:00 PM
  5. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    So... you think becoming a phone from 2004 is the solution? Limited to only a handful of capabilities?

    IMO, only a small fraction of existing BB faithful would buy such a phone. How many of these would sell? 10,000? You can't make money by making so few devices.

    This is 2014, and yes, people absolutely DO expect to be able to use their smartphones for a dozen or a hundred different things. Otherwise, why not just buy a flip phone?

    BB is already caught in a downward spiral of trying to continue to appeal to ever-shrinking niche groups instead of to the general consumer - they're like the proverbial buggy-whip manufacturers in 1900 - it didn't matter that they made the finest buggy-whips on the market once the market shifted from horses and buggies to the automobile.

    BB's decisions make sense for short-term survival, but come at the expense of long-term survival (at least, of the handset business - there's no reason the other parts have to die). Not that BB has much choice, but it's an awful corner they've painted themselves into.
    04-14-14 10:19 PM
  6. SaintThomasAquinas's Avatar
    Troy, thanks for your comment. My thoughts were not so much to remove features to make the phone secure but more pointed in the direction of realizing that purpose built is secure. The more we add on to the list of uses for a given device the more we add to the different ways that we can exploit the "allowances" that have to be made in order for these features to coexist in a single system.

    So in my mind I see that Blackberry can be very secure and I can appreciate the pride that we as Blackberry owners feel in the fact that in a given configuration they are hard to beat. However, in reality how many of us configure and use our devices in such a way that the tools built into the system to secure it are being leveraged?

    As for the other comments I made about security alone being enough to save Blackberry; I think you point out correctly that in fact security is not enough to save Blackberry now or even in the past. I'm not sure if I would have used the Buggy Whip analogy per se. Considering like other Mobile Handsets Blackberry has a touch interface, apps, removable battery, wifi, sms, nfc, keyboard or not depending on the model, sd card slot, etc. etc. So the technology is not so different between Blackberry and say Apple as to be night and day. what I wanted to do is get people thinking that in fact while we all want to be secure we strive to everything we can to guarantee the opposite. Please don't take my thoughts as criticism but just my observation. I struggle with the balance of security and convenience as much as any consumer.
    04-14-14 10:38 PM

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