Ex-NSA lawyer warns Google, Apple: IMPENETRABLE RIM ruined BlackBerry

Hint, hint ... now show us your backdoors

An ex-NSA lawyer believes BlackBerry's ongoing downfall stems from the company's use of strong encryption – and Apple and Google are next to wither on the vine.

Nope, it makes no sense to us, either.

Speaking at the Dublin Web Summit this week, Stewart Baker, a former NSA lawyer and assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, suggested BlackBerry (formerly known as RIM) put off customers by putting powerful data encryption in its BlackBerry Enterprise Server software.

"They restricted their own ability to sell," Baker was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

Baker then disingenuously suggested Apple and Google could enter the same death spiral as BlackBerry, because both companies are switching on device encryption by default – encryption that prevents them from unlocking people's data on behalf of g-men.

"Blackberry pioneered the same business model that Google and Apple are doing now - that has not ended well for Blackberry," Baker was quoted as saying.

The comments come after the new boss of the UK eavesdropping nerve-center GCHQ blasted Google and Apple, and claimed US tech giants were "command and control networks" for terrorists.

It is no secret that BlackBerry has in the past run afoul of some state governments for BES' security, but most would say that secrecy was pretty far down on the list of reasons why BlackBerry is in the toilet.

We'd humbly suggest to Baker that a number of other cock-ups – including falling behind Apple and Android in smartphones, flopping with a tablet rollout and having a disastrous comeback effort – had much more to do with BlackBerry's downfall than its security policies. ®

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