BlackBerry ups the security ante

More details are emerging about BlackBerry’s super-secure BBM protected service. has just released two demo videos filmed during Wednesday's BlackBerry Experience event in Washington, D.C.

Related: Amazon Appstore coming to BlackBerry

BlackBerry first announced the service this past February at the Mobile World Congress but the new videos, featuring Jeff Gadway, head of product marketing for BBM, give more hints about the new service.

The BBM Protected system provides separate encryption keys for each message sent rather than one key for an entire conversation. Anyone wishing to snoop on a conversation or exchange of messages would have to crack multiple encryption keys for each exchange and then string everything together to see the whole chat.

The service will remind users that they're engaged in a protected chat by using a blue typeface instead of black and/or displaying a special icon on the screen.

"I still have access to my ability to share files, I still have access to my ability to send photos. It's just that all of this information is going to be protected," said Gadway in the videos.

Related: BlackBerry not dead yet

While BlackBerry has not officially announced when the BBM Protected service will become available, believes the service may find its way onto devices running BlackBerry OS 6 or higher as soon as next month, with Android and iOS versions coming by the end of the year.

This is yet another example of manufacturers and developers jumping on the security paranoia bandwagon. Oh. Wait a minute. If people really are spying on you then I guess it isn’t paranoia – it’s more like a realistic concern about an actual danger. Either way, it’s probably a good thing that the private sector is taking it upon themselves to diminish the ability of cyber criminals, police forces and governments to pry into our private affairs. We’re certainly not going to get our privacy back through legislation – heck it was legislation that created institutions like the NSA in the first place.

Guy Wright

Guy Wright has been covering the technology space since the days when computers had cranks and networks were steam powered. He has been a writer and editor for many of the most influential publications over the years – publications that helped shape our current technological zeitgeist. He has lost count of the number of articles, blogs, reviews, rants, and books that he has published over the years, but he hasn’t stopped learning and writing about new things.


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