INSIDE BLACKBERRY BLOG

BlackBerry Products Do Not Have Backdoors. Full stop.

CORPORATE / 11.20.18 / John Chen

In light of our plans to acquire Cylance, I wanted to share our approach on lawful access and backdoors, as some people in the media have gotten it wrong.

BlackBerry’s products do not have backdoors, because at the end of the day, what we sell is trust. Our customers, some of the most powerful organizations in the world, trust us to keep their data private and safe from bad actors, and that’s what we do.

Where the confusion lies for some is how we work with law enforcement. As stated many times, I believe that companies should not put themselves above the greater good.

For us, there is a balance between doing what’s right, such as helping to apprehend criminals and preventing government abuse of citizen’s privacy. We have been able to find this balance even when pressured. Our position has been unwavering, and our actions are proof we commit to these principles.

We review lawful access requests, just like every other reputable company in the world does. Doing so does not mean, in any way, that BlackBerry has backdoors. Anyone who says so is wrong.

At BlackBerry, our mission is to protect data, not to exploit it, and we fulfill this mission by developing ultra-secure products and services with privacy embedded by design.

In today’s hyperconnected world, data protection and security is paramount, which is why I wanted to take this time to set the record straight and reassure our customers, partners, employees, investors, and the security industry at large, that BlackBerry is, and always will be, a company that is committed to providing the highest-level of security and data privacy.

Under my leadership, our products will never have a backdoor. This is BlackBerry’s promise to you.

John Chen

About John Chen

As Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry Limited, John Chen is responsible for defining the company’s vision and goals, setting its strategy, and ensuring the team’s execution matches corporate objectives. Appointed in November 2013, John has led BlackBerry through a successful pivot from hardware icon to software leader. Today the company is poised to leverage its brand strength and heritage in mobile security along with its enterprise cybersecurity and embedded software growth engines to accelerate into the Enterprise of Things, an emerging category with billions of connected devices and massive market potential.

John came to BlackBerry a distinguished leader and proven turnaround executive with more than 40 years of engineering and management experience along with a reputation that extends well-beyond the technology industry. Prior to joining BlackBerry, John served as Chairman and CEO of Sybase Inc. where he re-invented the company and led it through 55 consecutive quarters of profitability, providing outstanding shareholder returns during his 15-year tenure.

A global business leader with a strong interest in policy, John has testified before Congress on U.S.–China trade relations and was appointed by U.S. President George W. Bush to serve on the President's Export Council. In 2006, he was appointed co-chair of the Secure Borders and Open Doors Advisory Committee. Additionally, John chaired the U.S.-China Policy Advisory Roundtable for the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), served on the Board of the National Committee on U.S. China Relations from 2012-2018, and has been a member of the Committee of 100 since 1997 and its Chairman from 2009-2011.

John graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). John has an honorary professorship from Shanghai University, and honorary doctorates from San Jose State University, City University of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. John has received awards from the U.S.-Asia Institute, the U.S.-China Policy Foundation, the California-Asia Business Council, and the U.S.-Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation.

John served on the Board of Directors for The Walt Disney Company (2004-2019) and Wells Fargo & Co. (2006-2018). He is also active in the not-for-profit community, and is a trustee of Caltech, board member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, member of CFR, national trustee of The First Tee and Governor of the San Francisco Symphony.