BlackBerry buys Secusmart (in vain effort to stay relevant)


Gay-emm-beh WHO???

BlackBerry Ltd. (TSE:BB) is buying a German security company, Secusmart GmbH. We're told that this allows the Canadian company to offer super-secure voice and data -- as used by German government honcha, Angela Merkel.

We're also told that this move will reverse BlackBerry's catastrophic market-share decline: Yeah, right. (BTW, did I tell you about this bridge I have on eBay?)

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers dimly remember BlackBerry.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.


Joab Jackson just justifies the acquisition: [Ugh, welcome back -Ed.]

BlackBerry's fortunes have fallen on hard times in the past few years, as feature-friendly Android devices and iPhones have eaten away at sales. ... Now [it's] concentrating on providing devices that, it claims, have the strongest available security -- the killer feature for the enterprise.

To this end, BlackBerry announced Tuesday that it is purchasing Secusmart, a German company that offers a technology to encrypt voice calls and texts. ... BlackBerry can offer end-to-end security protection, thanks to how it controls both the OS and hardware of its devices. [It] also stressed how organizations could control their devices through the use of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES), using fine-grain permissions.  MORE


Brid-Aine Parnell hyphonetically adds:

According to the companies, Secusuite-enabled BlackBerrys are already in use by German government agencies, as well as ministers and leaders including Chancellor Angela Merkel [and] that the Secusuite solution already meets German federal and NATO security requirements for restricted communications.

Secusmart said it will remain as a German limited liability company after the buyout. Neither firm has been forthcoming about the terms of the deal.  MORE


Clint Boulton is feeling lucky:

Encrypted voice communications are in demand among CIOs as tensions around the world flare. John Sims, BlackBerry’s president of global enterprise services, said [CIOs] told him they prevent employees traveling in certain “unfriendly jurisdictions” from joining corporate conference calls because they know that competitors and governments may be listening.

Securing voice data is becoming increasingly the wake of reports earlier...that Russia may have intercepted and leaked a recording of a top U.S. diplomat referring profanely to America’s allies [and] that U.S. intelligence may have been spying on Chancellor Merkel’s cellphone for years.  MORE


Ah yes, Merkel. Lawrence Jackson has more on that:

The two companies already collaborated to produce Secusmart-equipped BlackBerry phones for German government agencies and leadership, including Chancellor Angela Merkel—who had previously been the target of NSA eavesdropping.

[It] meets NATO standards for “NATO restricted” communications—the [U.S.] equivalent of sensitive but unclassified communications or “for official use only” classification. ... The German government, however, has certified the technology for classified communications.  MORE


But Ron Miller says it's, "Years too late":

[It's] a move that makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, the deal is probably much too late to matter.

BlackBerry has floundered since the iPhone was introduced, watching its worldwide marketshare plunge. ... In December 2009, BlackBerrys had over 40 percent of US smartphone marketshare. In [the] most recent report it had trickled down to just over 2.

This purchase while helpful isn’t going to restore mass market success [BlackBerry] once had.  MORE

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