Blackberries have been the mainstay of secure cell phone communication since the inception of hand phones in the workplace. It’s secure phone and messaging systems and stable home country, Canada, has reassured governments and large corporations around the world that it can be relied upon for secure communications; even the President of the United States uses one. The minimal penetration of other hand phone into workplaces, that value security and privacy, is a testament to Blackberry’s reputation as a “secure” communications device.
Now, it may be for sale. Who may be interested in buying it? Can it be sold to the highest bidder, regardless of whom it may be? If a sovereign wealth fund backs a buyer, should the sale proceed?
Members of emergency management, security, legal, HR, policing, military, IT security and privacy officials all are extensive users of Blackberries. Data stored on Blackberries range from contacts to confidential plans. Will a new owner mean using Blackberries has to be reviewed again from a security and privacy perspective? Should we start now to study what this “new Blackberry risk” might require as mitigation?