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Blackphone goes for Blackberry's throat in privacy row

Black mark for Canadian rival
Wed Jul 16 2014, 13:08

Silent Circle BlackphoneSGP TECHNOLOGIES has hit back at Canadian phone maker Blackberry's criticism regarding the privacy of the Blackphone.

It has taken Blackberry's recent criticism, balled it up and thrown in back in Blackberry's face. In a note directed at "privacy enthusiasts" but undoubtedly aimed at Blackberry, SGP Technologies said that the negative attention is unwarranted.

The firm replied to a blog post by Blackberry that sought to place the Canadian firm on a pedestal and its competition down in the doldrums.

In its latest mud-slinging effort, it has taken on Knox, and Blackberry used Edward Snowden and his revelations to boost its own image, and run down other phone makers.

"The latest artifact of the so-called Post-Snowden era is the Blackphone, a purportedly secure smartphone," Blackberry said.

"As a pioneer in mobile security, accumulating thousands of patents and dozens of certifications over the past 15 years, Blackberry welcomes the attention the Blackphone brings to secure communications and digital privacy. But when it comes to protecting corporate information and end user privacy, meeting compliance requirements and expanding the productivity of your mobile workforce, the similarities we share with Blackphone end with the name."

Ouch, as some might say.

It went on, saying that the Blackphone is aimed at the individual and is not likely to meet the needs of the enterprise. It warned of a trade-off between security and productivity and cautioned punters to make the right choice. Reading between the lines reveals, of course, that it thinks the right choice is Blackberry.

SGP Technologies has reacted to the post with its own views on Blackberry and its Blackphone. It saluted its established rival, but suggested that it is playing an old tune that people are no longer fond of hearing.

"On July 11, our friends at Blackberry posted an article about, of all things, us! The piece goes to some effort to suggest that BP1 is 'consumer-grade', and therefore 'inadequate' for business users. Setting aside the fact that we think consumers deserve the same security as companies, we weren't surprised the piece extols the virtues of Blackberry's own solutions at our expense," it said.

"Blackberry was a huge, defining brand in our industry... Nowadays, the only thing sustaining them is the inertia of their remaining enterprise and government customers, but that too will eventually come to rest while we and others continue to win over those accounts."

As Blackberry mentioned Snowden and surveillance, so does Blackphone, however it goes in a little harder than its rival and brings up an item that the original post forgot to mention.

"Unfortunately, the world discovered in 2010 that RIM was willing to compromise its integrity if sufficient pressure was applied by governments intent on spying on the messages sent via the ubiquitous devices," SGP Technologies added.

"Various statements from the Saudi, UAE, Indian, and other telecom regulatory bodies all confirmed the same thing: RIM made it technically possible for the formerly-secret encrypted messages to be decrypted and viewed."

All this aside, the Blackphone maker said that it would like to resist being drawn into a mud-slinging argument with a company that it views as having lost its way.

"Think how far we've come in such a short time, and what might be around the corner - we're pretty sure Blackberry's already wondering about it. In the meantime, we'll spend our time innovating and growing due to our adoption by carriers and Fortune 1,000 customers will continue, instead of slinging mud with our Canadian friends," it added.

"We just felt that, in this instance, it was worth setting the record straight."

If all that isn't bad enough, SGP Technologies placed a number of further reading links beneath its statement. First on the list is something about brands that are likely to disappear by 2015. µ


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