Some of you have abandoned your Crackberry and moved to a Droid or iPhone. Well, good for you I say! Me, well, I have been clinging to my Blackberry in the hopes that I will be on the side of the eventual winner in the Smart Phone wars so that I can tell all my co-workers I told you so.
I may have seen the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
The folks at RIM are actively negotiating with quite a few Middle Eastern countries as well as India over the fact that the email is encrypted (well technically the end to end transport of said email). This strikes a nerve with the folks that want unfettered access to their email, text, thoughts, dreams, etc. In this lies a deeper problem. There have been a slew of articles on this Butterfly Effect on the web. The basic premise is as follows. Unsavory country of the week wants to shut down dissidents by reading their previously encrypted email. RIM kowtows to said country’s wishes and gives them the keys to the kingdom. The Feds see RIM give in and make the same request in the name of National Security. RIM further gives in and before you know it the encryption doesn’t feel so encrypted.
So before I go any further let me add the following disclaimer. This riff is not about the politics of the matter. In fact you may agree with the Feds on this one in the name of National Security or you may think it stamps on your rights. I can see arguments for either and I can accept and expect it.
My concern comes more from a security and risk point of view. RIM has been the go to business device to lock down corporate content during the daily grind of the day. If that method goes away or in this case just isn’t quite as secure from prying eyes as it was (including the eyes of the Federal Government and potentially State and Local law enforcement) then the business utilization may be impacted severely.
At this point comes the stunning realization that perhaps it is time to abandon my uncoolest of the cool Smart Phone and buy the flashy device that perhaps isn’t quite as secure but will likely be on par, secure wise, with the Blackberry in the near term.