BlackBerry CEO John Chen had some
sharp vague words on the twin subjects of encryption and privacy, along with a veiled misdirection-swipe at Apple. In an editorial posted to BlackBerry's site titled "The Encryption Debate: a Way Forward," Mr. Chen said...something, I'm sure.
John Chen at Techonomy 2010
You would think with that title Mr. Chen was offering a way forward in the debate over encryption and privacy. Only he doesn't. It's more like he's saying it's important to find a way to move forward without offering any solutions, proposals, or anything else germane to the discussion.
The best summary of the piece would be something like:
1.) Encryption is good.
2.) You can't have backdoors, so stop asking for them.
3.) Apple won't help law enforcement because they love themselves more than you.
4.) BlackBerry is awesome and everyone who is important has one.
5.) Another company (Telegram) did something that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.
6.) We should find a way to move forward.
Go ahead and read it yourself. I pored over it several times looking for something concrete being proposed, but there's just nothing there.
Here's my point by point commentary:
3.) Uhh...I'm calling you on this one. I'll break that down in detail on page 2.
5.) What's your point?
6.) No #^%&, Sherlock. How about some ideas?
Most of Mr. Chen's piece doesn't really deserve more commentary aside from emphasizing that he's not really saying anything. Encryption and privacy are important issues, and if a tech CEO—even the CEO of BlackBerry—is going to weigh in on the subject, he should have something real to say.
To give him credit where due, Mr. Chen does state succinctly and clearly that backdoors in encryption systems don't work, and without naming names, he was critical of politicians who don't understand that.
Next: John Chen's Swipe at Apple