06-13-16 07:28 AM
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  1. Brai7's Avatar
    Blackberry hands over user data to help police 'kick ***,' insider says - Technology & Science - CBC News

    I think if they are doing this to help criminals I don't see nothing wrong with it.

    A specialized unit inside mobile firm BlackBerry has for years enthusiastically helped intercept user data — including BBM messages — to help in hundreds of police investigations in dozens of countries, a CBC News investigation reveals.

    CBC News has gained a rare glimpse inside the struggling smartphone maker's Public Safety Operations team, which at one point numbered 15 people, and has long kept its handling of warrants and police requests for taps on user information confidential.

    A number of insiders, none of whom were authorized to speak, say that behind the scenes the company has been actively assisting police in a wide range of high profile investigations

    But unlike many other technology companies, which regularly publish transparency reports, it is not clear how many requests BlackBerry receives each year, nor the number of requests it has fulfilled.

    Insiders say, for example, that BlackBerry intercepted messages to aid investigators probing the political scandals in Brazil that are dogging suspended President Dilma Rousseff. The company also helped authenticate BBM messages in Major League Baseball's drug investigation that saw New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez suspended in 2014.

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    One document obtained by CBC News reveals how the Waterloo, Ont.-based company handles requests for information and co-operates with foreign law enforcement and government agencies, in stark contrast with many other tech companies.

    "We were helping law enforcement kick ***," said one of a number of sources who told CBC News that the company is swamped by requests that come directly from police in dozens of countries.

    "Narco trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering, kidnapping, crime against children, knowing you are stopping those things … how do you not love doing something like that?" said the insider.

    Although BlackBerry still counts businesses and governments around the globe among its customers, the company has acknowledged that its smartphone marketshare has declined significantly in the face of competition from Apple and Android phones.

    In response to questions from CBC News, a BlackBerry spokesperson said it "will not address the questions given the extremely sensitive nature of this process."

    The company also provided a statement that said, "BlackBerry's guiding principle has been to do what is right within legal and ethical boundaries when called upon to provide aid in the apprehension of criminals, or preventing government abuse of invading citizen's privacy. We have long been clear in our stance that tech companies, as good corporate citizens, should comply with reasonable lawful access requests."

    BlackBerry has recently defended its co-operation with law enforcement amid high-profile cases such as the standoff between Apple and the FBI over access to an encrypted iPhone, and heightened concerns about privacy and government surveillance in the wake of revelations from U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    "The Snowden stuff, I have a problem with that. Mass surveillance is an issue," another source said.

    "But when you have a company, following the law with checks and procedures in place, I feel good about that," the source said defending BlackBerry's approach.

    The Public Safety Operations team at BlackBerry's headquarters has streamlined a process to deal with what insiders characterize as a flood of requests from police. Lawyers review warrants and judicial authorizations before giving data analysts a green light to intercept and decrypt messages.

    The company has developed an International Cover Letter (ICL) for police and government agencies to submit alongside a warrant.

    CBC News obtained a version of the cover letter, one used by Italian authorities. It includes checkboxes for "emergency/exigent/routine" requests, to help BlackBerry prioritize life-threatening situations over routine investigations.

    3 categories of information

    It offers a menu of three categories of information BlackBerry can provide:

    Device, account, and subscriber data (including PIN, IMEI, SIM, BlackBerry ID, name, address, payment, and purchase information).
    Message transaction logs (times and dates of BBM and PIN message exchanges, current BBM contact list).
    "Other."
    Multiple law enforcement and company sources tell CBC that the "Other" section is where police detail requests to intercept and descramble user communications, including the consumer versions of its once popular BBM and Pin-to-Pin messaging services.

    The cover letter demands police sign a confirmation that their request is legal in their home country and affirm that it is "made in connection with the enforcement, investigation, or prosecution of violations of publicly promulgated criminal laws … and not the control, suppression, or punishment of peaceful expression of political or religious opinion."

    Insiders say BlackBerry will only consider requests if they include a valid legal order from the foreign jurisdiction.

    Potential for abuse

    Christopher Parsons, a research associate at the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab, who has studied the privacy practices of tech companies, is worried by the secrecy of BlackBerry's process and its potential for abuse.

    "The concern would be that there is a lawful order from a corrupt judge," said Parsons, who reviewed the ICL for CBC News. "There are countries in the world, unfortunately, where this does happen."

    He said BlackBerry is allowing foreign police to bypass the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, a diplomatic agreement that allows Canadian officials to review requests from foreign police and consider whether they are legal under Canadian law.

    'Sidestepping' the process

    "This is direct. This is a sidestepping of that entire process. This is BlackBerry being the one that makes that decision, as opposed to the Canadian government," Parsons said. He acknowledged that the treaty process can take months, so police likely prefer dealing directly with BlackBerry.

    U.S. law prohibits the likes of Apple, Facebook, and Google from intercepting communications on behalf of foreign agencies, which Parsons says contrasts to BlackBerry's practice.

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    Company insiders, meanwhile, say advances in encryption are making interception of mobile communications increasingly difficult for police. Yet they also say they are surprised criminals have been slow to pick up on BlackBerry's co-operation with police to access messages.

    "They are making the mistake thinking it's untouchable and nobody can see it … not aware there is a group in Canada that can access it, decrypt it and send it to law enforcement," said a source, who also says the team has a sense of "mission" helping law enforcement.

    "If you have the ability to help put bad people that have committed crimes behind bars, why not help someone do that? What's your counter-argument to putting bad guys away?"
    Last edited by Brai7; 07-15-16 at 07:32 AM.
    06-09-16 06:51 AM
  2. ohaiguise's Avatar
    If true, makes a complete mockery of BBM as a 'secure' messaging system. Such a shame.
    AllanQuatermain likes this.
    06-09-16 07:00 AM
  3. P2 SK's Avatar
    I was just about to post this article.

    And that officially brings the reasons to own a blackberry and use BBM to zero. Never trust a corporation, ever.

    Posted via CB10
    gruv4u and AllanQuatermain like this.
    06-09-16 08:02 AM
  4. anon(9607753)'s Avatar
    Must be a slow news day at CBC today. This months old revelation was their top story. LOL.

    Posted via the BlackBerry Priv
    web99 likes this.
    06-09-16 08:08 AM
  5. crackberry_geek's Avatar
    If BlackBerry would have dedicated even a fraction of such efforts to telling folks they still exist... things would have been oh so different.

    Instead, such lunacy just further proves how they've so successfully stolen defeat from the jaws of victory.
    gruv4u and MikeX74 like this.
    06-09-16 08:10 AM
  6. thurask's Avatar
    "I don't want to use Google / third party XXX on Android, I want BlackBerry to make their own because I trust them" seems quite silly now...
    06-09-16 08:30 AM
  7. filanto's Avatar
    Use carrier pigeons, they don't rat you out

    Smart Pill---Rabbit droppings, in Yooperland legend said to increase intelligence.
    06-09-16 08:46 AM
  8. Cynycl's Avatar
    "I don't want to use Google / third party XXX on Android, I want BlackBerry to make their own because I trust them" seems quite silly now...
    I always thought it was quite silly back then.
    BergerKing likes this.
    06-09-16 09:00 AM
  9. app_Developer's Avatar
    Remember the CB conspiracy theory that governments were actively conspiring to destroy BB's marketshare s.t. they could pry into our communications more easily?
    06-09-16 09:07 AM
  10. Ment's Avatar
    After the RCMP story it was pretty clear BB gives particularly Canadian government agencies alot of access to BBM.

    I don't really care all that much that BB cooperates with government requests the world over. Just be transparent about it and issue reports like all the rest of the big tech companies do and if they're fine with the resulting scrutiny than it helps keep them in line and we know whats up.
    06-09-16 09:15 AM
  11. Iggy City's Avatar
    This is just the media going against BlackBerry once again.

    I swear, I've never seen this amount of conspiracy since 911. BlackBerry's melt steel beams people.
    06-09-16 09:16 AM
  12. ohaiguise's Avatar
    "I don't want to use Google / third party XXX on Android, I want BlackBerry to make their own because I trust them" seems quite silly now...
    They've shown that they can and will intercept people's messages at will, and expose personal details. There's no guarantee that they'll only do it to criminals.

    I wonder how Chairman Chen will spin this one.
    06-09-16 09:19 AM
  13. Brai7's Avatar
    Now corporations are probably now scared of this...
    qwerty4ever likes this.
    06-09-16 09:23 AM
  14. Ment's Avatar
    Now corporations are probably now scared of this...
    BB doesn't have the keys to BBM Protected.
    06-09-16 09:41 AM
  15. thurask's Avatar
    I always thought it was quite silly back then.
    That's because it is.
    06-09-16 09:57 AM
  16. app_Developer's Avatar
    BB doesn't have the keys to BBM Protected.
    That's right. And they don't have access to BES keys. I just hope BB salespeople are reaching out to their corporate clients to remind them of this fact.
    06-09-16 09:59 AM
  17. qwerty4ever's Avatar
    BlackBerry just cooked their golden goose. Who handling sensitive data on their Blackberry smartphone will trust them? I am searchng for a truly secure mobile communications device for my forensic work and research. I am not surprised John Chen, a Chinese national, would eagerly crawl into bed with governments. Even BES traffic is subject to this new revelation.
    06-09-16 10:36 AM
  18. Bluenoser63's Avatar
    That's right. And they don't have access to BES keys. I just hope BB salespeople are reaching out to their corporate clients to remind them of this fact.
    You can be sure that they aren't. They expect people to know that. They are the worse at communications with customers. As a (former) corporate customer of BlackBerry, I have first hand experience that they don't do customer relations well.
    06-09-16 10:37 AM
  19. qwerty4ever's Avatar
    That's right. And they don't have access to BES keys. I just hope BB salespeople are reaching out to their corporate clients to remind them of this fact.
    You trust salespersons? Oh my!
    06-09-16 10:38 AM
  20. Dunt Dunt Dunt's Avatar
    At one point they had 15 people working in this department.... wonder if they have 15 people working on BB10 these days?
    06-09-16 10:43 AM
  21. app_Developer's Avatar
    BlackBerry just cooked their golden goose. Who handling sensitive data on their Blackberry smartphone will trust them? I am searchng for a truly secure mobile communications device for my forensic work and research. I am not surprised John Chen, a Chinese national, would eagerly crawl into bed with governments. Even BES traffic is subject to this new revelation.
    So I think Chen was foolish to paint BB into this corner with his statements about the importance of cooperating with governments. He shows unbelievably poor judgement in his pubic communications.

    But where do you see that BES is affected by this revelation? I don't see that.
    06-09-16 10:50 AM
  22. ohaiguise's Avatar
    At one point they had 15 people working in this department.... wonder if they have 15 people working on BB10 these days?
    Of course not. Chairman Chen does everything at BlackBerry singlehandedly.
    06-09-16 10:59 AM
  23. eshropshire's Avatar
    BlackBerry just cooked their golden goose. Who handling sensitive data on their Blackberry smartphone will trust them? I am searchng for a truly secure mobile communications device for my forensic work and research. I am not surprised John Chen, a Chinese national, would eagerly crawl into bed with governments. Even BES traffic is subject to this new revelation.
    John Chen was born in Hong Kong and by birth is a British citizen. He is also now a US citizen. He is not a Chinese national.
    Sigewif and Polt like this.
    06-09-16 11:50 AM
  24. aha's Avatar
    The question is, do you trust law enforcement and court system?

    PassportSQW100-1/10.3.2.2876
    06-09-16 12:17 PM
  25. Brai7's Avatar
    BlackBerry just cooked their golden goose. Who handling sensitive data on their Blackberry smartphone will trust them? I am searchng for a truly secure mobile communications device for my forensic work and research. I am not surprised John Chen, a Chinese national, would eagerly crawl into bed with governments. Even BES traffic is subject to this new revelation.
    Not to mention that media and others will blow all of this out of proportion.
    06-09-16 01:14 PM
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