Blackphone lays into BlackBerry in privacy row

Blackphone and BlackBerry have engaged in a tit-for-tat war of words

Blackphone maker SGP Technologies has hit back at BlackBerry, saying the Canadian firm is no longer relevant in the industry, in response to the firm’s criticism of the Blackphone.

BlackBerry released a blog earlier in July that said the Blackphone did not meet privacy standards for enterprise users. 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 in the blog post.

“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.”

It went on, saying that the Blackphone is aimed at the individual and is not likely to meet the needs of the enterprise. BlackBerry warned of a trade-off between security and productivity and cautioned customers to make the right choice.

SGP Technologies CEO Toby Weir-Jones 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. In a note directed at “privacy enthusiasts” but undoubtedly aimed at BlackBerry, Weir-Jones said that the negative attention is unwarranted.

“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 SGP Technologies.

“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,” Weir-Jones added.

“Various statements from the Saudi, UAE [United Arab Emirates], 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 Weir-Jones 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,” he added. “We just felt that, in this instance, it was worth setting the record straight.”

To add insult to injury, SGP Technologies placed a number of further reading links beneath its statement. First on the list is a piece about brands that are likely to disappear by 2015, which unsurprisingly includes BlackBerry.

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