For the team trying to sell BlackBerry, the latest revelations about the undercover surveillance tactics of the US's National Security Agency (NSA) and UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) could not be coming at a worse time. (See For Sale: One Used BlackBerry, Selling BlackBerry: The Options, and BlackBerry: Is There Still Value? .)
The Canadian smartphone specialist has long prided itself on the security of its devices and services but now even that reputation is being called into question by NSA documents revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden and seen by German publication Spiegel.
The documents suggest that security operatives not only hacked into texts and emails being sent and received on BlackBerry devices but also into voice communications.
Of cold comfort will be the revelations that other smartphone systems have also been compromised -- nothing is totally secure from the prying of the NSA and its partners. But with security being Blackberry's trump card, the Snowden revelations have dealt the BlackBerry team a very ugly hand.
For background on the spying scandal involving the NSA and GCHQ, see:
- Another Day, Another Domestic Spying Revelation
- China to Probe Software Giants
- Security Concerns Cling to Huawei
- Shotgun Scenario for Subsea Operators
- British Spooks Tap the Global Net
- Prism in a Big Data World
— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading