BlackBerry Gains Secusmart To Foil Snoopers

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

BlackBerry closes up acquisition of German specialist that secured Angela Merkel’s BlackBerry against the NSA

BlackBerry has strengthened its already impressive credentials after it closed the acquisition of German anti-eavesdropping solutions provider, Secusmart GmbH.

BlackBerry had announced it was acquiring the German firm back in the summer for an undisclosed sum, but now the deal has been finalised.

Eavesdropping Prevention

Following the whistleblower Edward Snowden revelations about the snooping habits of the NSA, the issue of eavesdropping protection became increasingly important to many organisations.

The issue was starkly illustrated in 2013, when it was revealed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel was a target of NSA eavesdropping, a move that soured Germany’s relationship with the US.

BlackBerry classicHowever, it is believed that any attempts to crack her encryption likely failed, thanks to an ongoing agreement with Secusmart to provide BlackBerry phones with heightened security to German agencies and politicians.

Secusmart specialises in high-security voice and data encryption and anti-eavesdropping solutions for government organisations, enterprises and telecommunications service providers, and the two companies had previously collaborated to produce Secusmart-equipped BlackBerry phones for German government agencies, as well as German government leaders including Chancellor Angela Merkel.

BlackBerry said that this acquisition has strengthened its leadership in secure enterprise mobility. “Secusmart’s technology will bolster BlackBerry’s end-to-end offerings that provide the highest level of security from the device to the management platform,” said the company.

“The acquisition of Secusmart underscores BlackBerry’s long-standing commitment to being the best in enterprise mobile security,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry. “BlackBerry is the only vendor to offer secure and encrypted voice, text and messaging, setting us further apart from others in the industry.”

“With the benefit of Secusmart’s talented team at BlackBerry, we look forward to building on our leadership position in mobile security at a time when cybersecurity breaches and data theft pose ever-growing costs and threats to governments, companies and consumers,” he said.

“We’re thrilled with the acquisition as we see significant opportunities to accelerate innovation for high-end secure communications solutions,” said Dr. Hans-Christoph Quelle, MD of Secusmart. “We look forward to introducing Secusmart’s solutions to more of BlackBerry’s government and enterprise customers around the world.”

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