Media investigation reveals that Canadian Police may be able to intercept and read encrypted BlackBerry messages

Motherboard and Vice News have revealed that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the federal police force in Canada, intercepted and decrypted over one million BlackBerry messages in an investigation concerning a mafia group. According to the reveals, the police may be in the possession of a ‘global encryption key’ that allows it to read anybody’s encrypted BlackBerry messages, as long as the phone is not connected to a corporate account. In reaction, BlackBerry’s CEO, John Chen, published a blog post arguing that ‘tech companies as good corporate citizen should comply with reasonable lawful access requests’, and that, for the company, ‘there is a balance between doing what’s right, such as helping to apprehend criminals, and preventing government abuse of invading citizen’s privacy’. Chen didn’t mention whether BlackBerry actually assisted the Canadian police by providing it with the encryption keys needed to read the Blackberry messages.