The terms of BlackBerry’s Secusmart acquisition were not disclosed. The German government will be looking very carefully at the purchase to assure the security merits of the new owner meet the standards expected by the German government.
In a statement Wednesday by Germany’s Interior Ministry spokesman Johannes Dimroth he states they [The German Government] were ‘unaware’ of the details of the announcement made on Tuesday at BlackBerry’s Security Summit in New York City.
“We will consider very, very carefully and with great seriousness if there are any long-term effects of this sale, in particular regarding the security properties of the affected products, and this also includes a review of possible legal action,”
Mr. Dimroth said at a regular government press conference in Berlin.
BlackBerry replied quickly with their own statement. “We have a long-standing and trusted relationship with the German government, and Secusmart has also been a long-time partner of ours,” a BlackBerry spokeswoman said in an e-mail. “However, the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, and until then we cannot provide comment.”
“I am sure that there will be a positive decision after it has been looked at,” Managing Director of Secusmart Hans-Christoph Quelle told Reuters in a telephone interview.
“Nothing changes the security of the ‘Merkel phone’ and the telephones supplied to the government,” added Quelle.
“All the secrets are only in the micro-SD (card).. which the BSI Federal Office for Information Security has developed and supplied to us,” he said. “Neither Secusmart nor BlackBerry has access to that.”
While BlackBerry has the security pedigree and the Secusmart acquisition makes logical sense as they progress their voice offerings, German officials will still consider the implications of an owner in North America. It reminds us of BlackBerry’s unique position in the market, and whether or not they can leverage themselves as the “Sweden” of secure data a task they are taking globally with their data infrastructure and initiatives like Project Ion.
Lest we forget all the governments already deploying BlackBerry for best in class management and security.