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BES12: Android, BlackBerry 10, iOS and Windows 10 Mobile Comparison

Which mobile operating system should be choosen? And what are the differences in the workflow and what about the Privacy? Are there private and / or professional restrictions?
We compare Android, BlackBerry 10, iOS and Windows 10 Mobile handhelds on the BB10QNX.de BES12.
Yes, we could now enumerate all the advantages of BlackBerry 10, but we will confine ourself to the essence of the systems.

Structure

  • Devices and operating systems
  • Activation Profile
  • BES12 Activation
  • Data security
  • App permissions
  • Encryption
  • Usability
  • Connectivity / Accessories / Media
  • Battery life
  • Signal strength
  • Social Life / Apps
  • Update distribution
  • Conclusion

Devices and operating systems

From left to right: BlackBerry Passport, Samsungs Galaxy S6, Apple iPhone 6 Plus, Nokia Lumia 930

From left to right: BlackBerry Passport, Samsungs Galaxy S6, Apple iPhone 6 Plus, Nokia Lumia 930

Device OS
Apple iPhone 6 Plus iOS 8.4.1
BlackBerry Passport OS 10.3.2
Nokia Lumia 930 Windows 10 Mobile Insider Build 10512
Samsung Galaxy S6 Android 5.1.1
Sony Xperia Z Android 5.0

Note on Windows 10 Mobile and iOS:
The version of Windows Mobile 10 used herein is a beta version. Microsoft plans to release the operating system in the fall of 2015. The activation on BES12 posed no problems. Battery life is almost identical to WindowsPhones 8.1.
The post will be updated on iOS9 rollout mid-September 2015.

Activation Profile

BlackBerry Enterprise Service 12 (BES12) provides a unified administration solution for Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Windows Phone or Windows 10 Mobile, whether BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), COPE (Corporate Owned, staff Enabled) or COBO (Corporate Owned, Business Only).
However, there are differences in the profiles, depending on the mobile operating system. The aim is to separate private and professional data by using the BES12. Employment data is encrypted end-to-end with BES12 on the transport and in containers on the devices.

Device Profile
Apple iPhone 6 Work and personal – user privacy
BlackBerry Passport Work and personal –regulated
Nokia Lumia 930 MDM-controls
Samsung Galaxy S6 Work and personal – full control (Samsung KNOX)
Sony Xperia Z Work and personal – user privacy (Secure Work Space)

Why 2 Android smartphones?
Samsung offers on their Galaxy S6 smartphone the KNOX solution. With KNOX a device is secured since startup by Trusted Boot and ARM TrustZone-based Integrity Measurement Architecture (TIMA) and provides a container solution for sensitive data. KNOX workspace can be managed and administered by BES12.2. Advantages: Apps do not have to be wrapped and KNOX is more efficient in energy consumption as the Secure Work Space.

The Sony and the iPhone use the Secure Work Space (each on Android and iOS) for storage and separation of business data and for the communication with the corporate network.

Windows handhelds can only be activated as MDM-C because the lack of secure data container.

On a BlackBerry the user just have to set a business account.

BES12 Activation

Android

BlackBerry

BlackBerry OS

iOS

Windows

Data security

The philosophy of Blackberry: “MDM as an Enabler”:
The user can do whatever he wants, but please, only in the Private Perimeter. The Work Perimeter is worth to protect.

Especially Android is currently scolded. A vulnerability after another is known and the Android update enrollment, but more on this later. Personally, I would, if I had to use an Android, only use Android with KNOX. It protects against malware and tampering with the OS, but for example not against a vulnerability in the Android messaging system.

And the user himself is responsible for his data.
Do you really need a flashlight app that has access on contacts ?!

The user should also be aware that each manufacturer establish connections to its infrastructure to use the data to improve its services.

  • Each system collects anonymous usage and diagnostic data.
    Except for Android all operating systems provide an option to disable the collection of usage data.
  • Many private information on smartphones can be synchronized with the cloud services of the manufacturer but they a different on each system.
    On Windows the contacts and calender is synchronised on the Microsoft Account and it is not possible to disable it.
  • On BlackBerry, iOS and Windows 10 Mobile the user can subsequently withdraw or grant app permissions.

Android can perform the complete usage of Google services, for example the phone lists are affected. The processing of the data takes place on serves in several countries. Furthermore a user can access his data, but only if it can be achieved at reasonable expense. Backups will probably never be deleted from the non-active servers.

Apple passes the data to third parties who provide services for Apple. Data from users in the European Economic Area are stored and processed in Ireland. However, Apple publishes the data to government agencies including those outside the country of residence. Explicitly national security is named as a reason.

BlackBerry users in the European Economic Area agree, that their data are processed outside the European Economic Area. But BlackBerry agrees to complete deletion, destruction or anonymisation of the data if they are no longer needed. BlackBerry can use private information of the user to respond to court orders, warrants or other lawful requests or legal process, or to be able to give emergency assistance in situations that are life-threatening. In this case, BlackBerry does not require consent of the user.

WindowsPhone has the highest number of affected data from these systems. Microsoft noted that the user data possible are possibly stored and process in the US and other countries by Microsoft, its partners, affiliates and service providers. Government authorities also obtain help from the manufacturer.

App permissions

Android: Users are not able to edit the permissions. When installed, you can only accept or reject. Only Android 4.3 and the upcoming Android 6 Marshmallow have integrated a permission management. All other versions have to be rooted.

BlackBerry: The user can grant and revoke app permissions in the setting menu. For Android apps the user has to install App Obs. For Android ported apps there is no possibilty.

iOS: The user is asked on first usage of the apps if he want to prompt or revoke the permissions. Even in retrospect, he can edit them.

Windows 10 Mobile is similar to iOS.

Encryption

All manufacturers offer encryption. Only for WindowsPhone an Exchange server / MDM is needed.

Android and Windows Phone encrypt only on shotdown of the device.
iOS works with non-transparent protection classes.
BlackBerry devices encrypte immediately, even incoming data on a locked device.

Usability

Users want an ergonomic and intuitive operation system.

Each system has a quick access to settings and shortcuts to settings: A swipe from the top of the screen to the middle for access. Except iOS, a user has to swipe from the bottom.

Each system provides a notification center: Swipe from the top of the screen to the middle. Except for BlackBerry, it has the BlackBerry Hub. This is either seen from the homescreen from the far left or from any app by swipe gesture: from the bottom of the screen to the middle and then to the right edge of the display.

All systems are based on a key operation below the display. Except BlackBerry, this system is completely controlled by swipe gestures.

All System are Multitasking systems. But on all systems the user can access an overview of opened applications only through a combination of keys or by pressing a dedicated button. Except for BlackBerry, because this system offers Active frames. After closing an app the user is automatically on the active frames screen, unless the user opens the hub.

On all systems, you can create folders in the application menu and fill them.

On BlackBerry and Windows Mobile 10 the browser address bar is placed at the bottom of the screen. Apple has at least brought the controls down to the bottom.

In all systems, except on BlackBerry 10, have the so-called “Hamburger Button” in the upper part of the display. Ergonomics looks different.

hamburger-300x200-300x200

Android

Android works with launchers. So the user is able to customize the Homescreen in design and functions. The application menu is on a second level. The homescreen shows shortcuts and widgets with live data.

Keyboard: A simple on-screen keyboard, some manufacturers offer a Swype keyboard: You press the first letter of the word and wipes over the following. The word suggestions / corrections appear between keyboard and screen content. They vary greatly in quality. Multi-language support is given. For example on the tested Samsung Galaxy S6 it is possible to adjust the size of the keyboard.

galaxy-s6-tastaturgroesse-anpassen

Work Perimeter: The Secure Work Space is a parallel running Launcher. KNOX can be displayed as a folder or as a launcher.

BlackBerry

BlackBerry 10 works completely on a horizontal level. On the far left is the Hub, the interactive central communication tool, in the middle are the active frames (similar to widgtes) of all open applications and on the right the user finds the application menu and folders.

Keyboard: BlackBerry is one of the few manufacturers with hardware keyboards. On BlackBerry Passport, the keyboard is also touch sensitive and serves as a trackpad. The virtual keyboard offers a unique concept: after pressing the first letter of the word and the potential word is shwon above the successor. If the user wants to accept this word, he swipe up from this point upwards. So far, the fastest virtual keyboard with very good word suggestions.

BlacckBerry-OS10-Tastatur

Work Perimeter: Changing between the perimters is easy and quick. Just one click in the quick menu (if the work perimeter is not locked. Private and Work Perimter have an identical structure.

iOS

iOS offers only an application menu and a fixed bottom dock for some applications.

Keyboard: Simple virtual keyboard. Word suggestions can be found between the keyboard and screen content.

iOS-8-Tastatur

iOS: Similar to Android Secure Work Space.

Windows 10 Mobile

The home screen offers the possibility of Live Tiles: application icons are like widgets. One swipe to the left and the application menu opens in a classical list view with icon and text.

Keyboard: Microsoft offers Swype and displays the word suggestions like Android and iOS. In the virtual keyboard the user finds a joystick for quick navigation or marking texts.

Windows-10-Mobile-Tastatur

No Work Perimeter because there is no container solution on the market.

Learning curve

An expert has tested all the systems. She is 7 years old and is in the first class of primary school.
We wanted to test how fast she is able to handle the OS.

Result and placement (yes, twice 1st place):

  1. BlackBerry
    After she gets the gestures she was pretty fast on the system.
    iOS
    Sometimes a few problems with the home button.
  2. Windows 10 Mobile
    Very easy, but the three buttons at the bottom make some problems.
  3. Android
    To much info on the homescreens with the widgets and some trouble with the 3 buttons at the bottom.

Connectivity / Accessories / Media

With all of the devices the user is able to exchange data with a PC – via USB or Lightning (Apple).

But the iPhone needs iTunes or something similar like CopyTrans, all others can be integrated directly as a mass storage. Apple has a closed system. It restricts the user, sometimes significantly, but the solutions offered work very well.

BlackBerry devices can also partly operate on a PC via BlackBerry Blend. Also on Mac or tablet. Samsung will follow with the new version of SideSync.
Windows 10 comes with Continuum. With this feature on a Windows 10 smartphone the user replace a PC. On old phones it works with an adapter.

All phones have LTE, Bluetooth, headphone jack and a non removable battery.

Only the BlackBerry Passport and the Sony Xperia Z has an SD card slot.

On all systems, there were no problems in dealing with MP3, images or videos, although BlackBerry and Windows does not belong to the “multimedia systems”. Various streaming options are also represented on the systems: DNLA, Miracast etc.

The camera of Lumia 930 is really very good and the app in Windows Mobile 10 becomes easier to use and faster. But the sensors of the Samsung and iPhone are also good. The Samsung sharpens extremely by software and the iPhone has “only” 8MP. BlackBerry must still catch up, but the 13MP image sensor of the Passport series and the camera app in OS10.3.2 are showing good results even though the focus is quite slow and does not constitute or compare to S6 Plus.
Who wants to listen to music have to pick up the BlackBerry Passport or Z30: Stereo and enough strength. All other systems have only mono speaker with less power.

Battery life

First of all: The capacity doesn´t matter, we just want to stay online for at least one business day. Each system has a different hardware and software architecture. But for the comparison we the same accounts on every device. And the devices were used always at the same places.

Only one factor is different: Android has apparently a problem with Exchange accounts and push notifications. The battery loss was too high, so we set the Exchange accounts on interval pull of 1 hour.

Battery life with placement:

  1. BlackBerry Passport. As the professional field is natively integrated into the system, not much has been consumed here. Until late in the evening keeps the unit by.
  2. Nokia Lumia 930. Display on time we had the feeling that every second is 1% less available. The minimal standby consumption is almost unbeaten.
  3. Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6 Plus. On the Samsung device KNOX workspace was activated and on the iPhone the Secure Work Space, consumed significantly more energy than KNOX. In the early evening the equipment already had to the power outlet.
  4. Xperia Z. The device was already down in the afternoon due to the Secure Work Space.

Signal strength

Cellular (2-4G) and WiFi:

  1. BlackBerry Passport
  2. Nokia Lumia 930
  3. iPhone 6 Plus
  4. Sony Xperia Z
  5. Samsung Galaxy S6

The Samsung has really disappointed. In places where the BlackBerry can receive data over mobile data, it wasn´t able to make a phone call with the S6.

Social Life / Apps

The user will find all big social networks on all systems. On BlackBerry the user has to choose an Android app instead of a native one.

So BlackBerry users can chooes between native and Android apps. But there is no chance to get Android apps working in the Work Perimeter.

On Windows, everything is currently in upheaval by the introduction of Windows 10. So Android and Apple ports are supported, as well as Universal Apps: These are acquired on one device via Microsoft account and can be used on all systems, whether smartphone, tablet, PC or XBOX.

Update distribution

  • Apple distributes updates via their own infrastructure directly to the device. Not oly the last generation of devices is supported and users do not have to wait too long for the updates.
  • BlackBerry distributes the updates after a testing phase by the mobile operators.
  • Android users need to be careful what device they take. Because every manufactorer enroll their own Android distribution (except AOSP) and they want to sell new phones every 12 – 24 months, of course.. Even small bugfixes as against the vulnerability Stagefright: Google had created the patch quickly, but users had to wait for the manufacturers.
  • Windows 10 Mobile will be similar to iOS.

Conclusion

You can catch all tested systems to communicate securely via BES and edit company data, except with Windows 10 Mobile. Companies should choose BlackBerry handhelds because of safety and productivity. In a pinch Android, but only with Knox. Why Android over iOS? Because of Secure Connect Plus. It´s an IP tunnel for BES activated Android and BlackBerry handhelds. But for Android you need an extra app in the container.

Those looking for a colorful and open system, Android is the right choice. The system proves itself as a power-hungry and error-prone as a manufacturer issue. From Android 5.1 Google Android for Work is available. Parts of KNOX are working in this multi-user solution. This solution is not as power hungry as Secure Work Space, but has just coarse-grained IT policies.

Those looking for a reduced and closed system should look at Apple products. While it is not as “free” as in many other systems, but if you use Apple solutions, these work pretty good together with other Apple products. Just be aware of the Apple marketing.
For example: Yes, the iPhone makes great photos. But 8MP are still 8MP and can not display the details like the 20MP sensor with Zeiss Lens of Lumias.
But the software is perfectly adapted to the hardware and the overall product is very efficient.

Windows 10 Mobile wants to be personal and professional on one system. Yes, Exchange and Office are going very well and it´s productively. And the layout with Live Tiles and the application list is nice.
But we discourage the missing containers, the coarse granular configuration options and the Windows 10 acquisitiveness.

BlackBerry has the best of both app worlds: Android (without Google Services) and native. So you have lifestyle and productivity.
The systems is as performant as iOS and Windows Mobile 10. The gesture control is well implemented and internalized rapidly. The settings are very fine-grained. The Hub and balance (the separation of private and business data) are unique and increase productivity immensely.
For companies the app Work Drives is interesting: a direct native integration of Sharepoint and Active Directory. So other cloud solutions are obsolete.

Original posted on BB10QNX.de

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OS10.3.2: Closed Beta Update OS10.3.2.680

New Update in BlackBerry Beta Zone: OS10.3.2.680 Softwareversion 10.3.2.440

Notable Fixed Issues:

[Amazon] Amazon Shop barcode scan camera is rotated 90 degrees left when device is flat on an even surface
[Balance] In some instances, the work space remains locked after unlocking it
[Bluetooth] In some cases, Bluetooth fails to connect
[Browser] Browser still showing in device monitor after it was closed; memory not reclaimed
[Calendar] In some instances, recurring events are duplicated & multiplied every-time sync occurs
[Cellular] After being out of coverage, the device may not immediately reconnect to the mobile network
[CPU] High CPU utilization from dialogservice, cellular, and other processes, resulting in poor battery life
[HUB] Deleting messages in conversation view using speed triage may not actually delete the message, or the message may reappear then disappear again
[HUB] In some instances, messages do not load and the HUB remains blank
[Keyboard] ALT key does not lock when pressed on a physical keyboard. Workaround: hold ALT while selecting the desired alt character
[Location Services] Unable to disable Traffic Data Collection
[Memory] Phone application may cause memory leaks
[Performance] In some instances, the device may stall after closing or opening an application
[Phone] Text within the Active Call Dial Pad is truncated
[PIM] Accounts are invalid after an update to 10.3.2 OS
[SMS] In some cases, you may not be able to send SMS messages
[SSL] Default changed to disallow untrusted connections, which resulted in the following error if the required IT Policy was not set: “The SSL certificate provided by for ActiveSync is either invalid or was declined”
[VKB] The virtual keyboard may not show after swiping up to unlock your device

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WatchDox and BlackBerry webinar: The ABCs of Secure File Sharing

Meeting Description:

Learn more about BlackBerry’s acquisition of WatchDox and what it means for your business when it comes to secure file sharing and enterprise mobility.

Security doesn’t need to put handcuffs on collaboration or productivity. Learn how you can confidently share assets externally, across platforms, and to all manner of user groups without losing control and without increasing risk.

Please join us at this live online event to learn more about how the ABC’s of secure file sharing can benefit your business.

  • Architecture considerations across different file repositories and end points
  • Balance between the needs of the end users and the needs of IT
  • Control and security features for sharing business content internally and externally

Details:

  • Date:Thu, May 14, 2015
  • Time:02:00 PM EDT
  • Duration:1 hour
  • Host(s):WatchDox & BlackBerry

Register online.

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bblogs.info proudly present our newly launched developer lounge

Times-Square-Billboards-DevelopersLounge

When we established bblogs.info, we stated in our mission statement that “BBlogs community platform is designed to promote and embrace the BlackBerry brand, its products and developers by providing them with a warm home and place to collaborate, cooperate and share”.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ve got some BIG NEWS. Today we live up to our mission statement! After a long and hard work, bblogs.info is proud to announce the launch our newest section: the Developer Lounge. dedicated solely to our awesome BlackBerry Developers friends.

So what is it and what’s in there?:

The Developers Lounge is sort of a “Hall of Fame” of our BlackBerry developers. This is the biggest section outside of the BlackBerry Developer Site that’s dedicated to our developer community.

Inside you can locate the devs by continent and country using our interactive world map and go their dedicated page. Or you can use the “Developers hub” and navigate from there.

We’ve got a wide selection of top developers for you, with many more to be added in the upcoming days/weeks. Each developer was given a dedicated page, of which you can view their profile and history, visit their vendor page on BlackBerry World and view their featured and newest apps. All in one place!

Furthermore, as a token of appreciation to our developers, we accompany this with a launch of a dedicated shorten link for this: devs.pm which will be associated with all our activities with respect to the Developer Lounge

A call out to all developers: Looking to get included? You are cordially invited to sign up using our online form

We are certain the BlackBerry community will find this as an extremely useful tool to engage our developers as well as cherish their huge efforts to sustain and increase our apps base, both in consumer and productivity areas.

Join us in honoring our awesome developers. Visit the Developer Lounge now and let us know your thoughts and comments.

You can stay tuned to bblogs.info via the following social channels:

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Review: StilGut Screen protector and case

StilGut offers their products worldwide. Their BlackBerry shop page is available in english, french, german, italian and polish.

Delivery time is 7-10 days within europe an 7-20 days worldwide. PayPal and creditcards are accepted.

Screen protector for BlackBerry Passport

  • Transparent tempered glass manufactured with a particular chemical process. Only 0,33 mm
  • Oleophobic surface: fingertips and impunesses can be easily removed
  • Very resistant glass: if the glass brakes, the internal structure prevents the formation of sharp edges
  • Surface hardness: 9 H, i.e. extremely resistant so that sharp objects cannot damage it
  • One side of the protection is composed of resisting silicon adhesive surface and can be immediatly attached to your display

On the back of the package are the instructions for applying the screen protector. Caution: Don´t bent the protector too sharply, it could break.

How to do it:
First, clean the screen with the included dry and / or wet towels.
Remove the protective film from the screen protector and attach it to the edge of the display.
If there is dust on the screen, you can remove it with the supplied purple plastic tape.

Since the protector is made of hardened material, no air bubbles were observed. The purple tape is helpful. The first time that I have found such a tool in the delivery. Praiseworthy.

The screen protector is a little bit thicker than a conventional one, but does not interfere, and the edge is not sharp. At the top of the screen, the film is asymmetrically cut. The brightness sensor remains free and is not affected in its functionality.

German Review.

Book Type Case with clip for BlackBerry Passport

  • High quality leather case, handmade for the BlackBerry Passport
  • Material: authentic leather with an exquisite seam
  • Sleep and wake-up function. Device starting by opening the cover
  • All connections are eaily accessible and the screen is fully usable
  • Headphones can be connected even when the cover is closed

The BlackBerry Passort fits without tension, but secure in this case. The quality is very good. There is no hole or lens for the notification LED in the lid. A proposal for entering an a lens was forwarded to the design department.
The lid closes properly. Due to the clip some tension is built up, but it doesn´t cause damage to Passport. This case also has the sleep function! This means that when you open the lid, the device unlocked automatically. Close the case and the device is locked and the screen disabled.

German review.

The products are very good and you can get them worldwide. It´s possible to place the order in their own online shop in the above mentioned languages or on amazon.

 

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BlackBerry and India – A special bond

BlackBerry has been in the hardware business for more than 16 years now, and has been trading in numerous countries. But, India holds a special place for the company. Being second most populous country in the world, India has always been a very good market consisting more of ‘consumers’.
With nearly 930 Million cellphone users in India, It’s a very crucial market. And BlackBerry has been focusing since a decade.

From 2007-2012, BlackBerry was the ultimate leader in the country. Everyone loved it, From Professionals to Teenagers. The main driving factor was BBM. Rather than paying exorbitant prices for an SMS, BBM was much cheap. Just buy a BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) package from your Telecom operator and enjoy unlimited chatting and connectivity. BlackBerry was at it’s peak during this period. Everyone wanted a BlackBerry. It was a trend. BlackBerry was everywhere. Every mobile seller was stocked with BB’s. And YES, They sold like hot pancakes. BlackBerry was the only device you’ll see in cities. No other brand worked so well.
But soon, This craze suddenly dropped with the introduction of IM’s like Whatsapp. You dont need BIS for them, Just a internet plan and your good to go. This came as a very big blow to BlackBerry. And unfortunately, The company couldn’t cope up with the changing trend.

The result was, a complete failure of Z10 and to some extent even Q10. So, Why did the company hit rock bottom so suddenly? In 2011-2013, Android was picking up at lightning speed. Local mobile manufacturers like Micromax and Karbonn took the advantage, and started selling device’s for very very less prices. Then came in the Samsung wave, that took over the premium segment market. Apple was virtually unaffected during this period. BlackBerry’s iconic keyboard and BBM suddenly lost interest. Now, Here’s the twist. Those who are real ‘Professionals’ stuck to BlackBerry. But those who bought a BB just because of ‘Trend’ and ‘Show-off’ migrated immediately. India is a very price sensitive market and BlackBerry took a lot of premium in devices, causing sales to crash against local competitors.

BlackBerry still has a large fan base in India. They mostly consist of busy men who dont have time for Selfie’s and Games. BlackBerry’s market share since 2013 has dropped significantly, But the company is still very well established in market. There are hardly any ‘BlackBerry Exclusive’ stores left in the country, but Service Center’s work flawlessly just like before.

When John Chen took over, BlackBerry’s reputation as an established company had been devastated. Consumer perception has completely changed. But the mind set that ‘BlackBerry is for professionals’ still exists and that’s what drives sales.

BlackBerry entered the fierce pricing battle along with the Z3. The low cost device was priced competitively, and did eat up a bit of premium. Which again helped the company in maintaining the brand image. The device sold exceptionally well, and the low-cost productivity men loved it.
It was even ranked number one device under INR 20,000 by leading newspaper Times of India.

Though Passport din’t sell like hot cakes, But it has been sold sufficiently well. Receiving positive reviews, the device can be termed a ‘HIT’.

There is a large user base of Bold and Curve users in the country, even in 2015. And majority of them are very happy with the launch of the Classic. In fact, Old users who had migrated to Android and iOS are now returning to the Classic. The device was exclusively launched by Snapdeal in the country, and the device was sold out within 24 hours.

The company has been on a roller-coaster ride in the country, but after a trench, it’s again climbing the mountain very well.

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You Can Balance Privacy and National Security. Here’s How.

By John Chen:

In the wake of the Paris terror attacks earlier this month, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron proposed banning encrypted communications services such as those offered by Apple, Facebook and others. President Obama partially endorsed Prime Minister Cameron’s proposal a few days later, indicating he would support banning encrypted communications services that cannot be intercepted by law enforcement and national security agencies. While there is no publicly-available evidence that encrypted communications played any role in the Paris attacks, security officials say their ability to prevent future attacks will be hindered if terrorists are able to evade surveillance using encrypted communications and messaging services.

Privacy advocates have harshly criticized the Cameron-Obama proposals, arguing that encryption is a vital tool for protecting sensitive government, corporate and personal data from hacking and other forms of cyber theft. Following the recent spate of hacking attacks against Sony, Target, Home Depot, certain celebrity users of popular but hackable smartphones, and others, these advocates argue we need more, not less encryption. Further, they argue that banning encryption will not necessarily make it easier for security agencies to surveil terror plotters; after all, the terrorists will know they are being overheard and will simply communicate in new and ever-changing forms of coded language.

Reconciling these opposing perspectives on encryption requires a reasoned approach that balances legitimate national security concerns with legitimate cyber security concerns.

Privacy is Everyone’s Concern

Our dependence on computing devices for transmitting and storing sensitive personal information has become irreversible. Billions of items of personal information including health records, bank account records, social security numbers and private photographs reside on millions of computers and in the cloud. This information is transmitted via the internet every day. The same is true for highly confidential and proprietary business information. And of course no government or law enforcement agency could function without maintaining high levels of information security.

With so much information residing on computer networks and flowing through the internet, cyber security has emerged as one of society’s uppermost concerns. Protecting private and sensitive information from hacking, intrusion and exfiltration now commands the attention not just of computer professionals, but also heads of state, CEOs, Boards of Directors, small business owners, and every individual using a computer or smartphone, and even those who never use a computing device.

Modern forms of encrypting voice and data traffic provide the best protection for highly valuable and private personal, business and government information. Rendering data unreadable to the intruder greatly diminishes the incentive to hack or steal. Banning encryption, therefore, would dramatically increase the exposure of all such information to hacking and cyber theft. Clearly that is not a viable option.

Call of Duty

On the other hand, the same encryption technology that enables protection of sensitive data can also be abused by criminals and terrorists to evade legitimate government efforts to track their data and communications. Companies offering encrypted communications thus have a duty to comply with lawful requests to provide information to security agencies monitoring would-be terrorists. Companies like BlackBerry: We’ve supported FIPS 140-2 validated encryption in all of our devices for the past 10 years – longer than many of our competitors have been selling smartphones.

Depending on the particular technology involved, that information requested by law enforcement agencies might include the content of encrypted messages, but it may include other vital data such as user information, the dates and times the subscriber contacted other users, the length of such communications, the location of the user, and so forth. In many instances non-content user information can be even more important than the actual content itself, because such metadata can provide crucial leads and other vital intelligence to law enforcement and security agencies.

Let’s be clear: I am not advocating sharing data with governments for their ongoing data collection programs without a court order, subpoena or other lawful request. However, telecommunications companies, Internet Service Providers, and other players in the modern communications and messaging ecosystem need to take seriously their responsibility to comply and to facilitate compliance with reasonable and lawful requests for such information. Unfortunately, not all players in the industry view this issue the same way. Some Silicon Valley companies have publicly opposed government efforts to enable lawful surveillance and data gathering, even where lives may hang in the balance. These companies appear to be trying to position themselves as staunchly “pro-privacy,” without according sufficient weight to legitimate and reasonable governmental efforts to monitor and track would-be terrorists. Far from protecting privacy rights, this irresponsible approach risks providing ever stronger arguments to those who would subjugate all cyber privacy concerns to national security.

The answer, therefore, is not to ban encryption, because doing so would give hackers and cyber-criminals a windfall, making it much easier for them to mine billions of items of sensitive personal, business and government data. Instead, telecommunications and internet companies should cooperate with the reasonable and lawful efforts of governments to fight terrorism. That way we can help protect both privacy and lives.

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BES: End of Sales (EOS) of Perpetual licenses

In German on bb10qnx.de

Next BES Major Release on 01.March 2016 with new licenses?!

BES14-670x300

This was sent by BlackBerry:

In conjunction with the End of Sales (EOS) of Perpetual licenses on Feb 28, 2015, Upgrade rights for Perpetual licenses are being removed for new Technical Support customers. Key dates:

  • Upgrade rights removed for new support subscriptions starting March 1, 2015
  • Upgrade rights removed from all support subscriptions on March 1, 2016

Customers that own Perpetual CALs and want to utilize them on BES12 fall into 1 of 3 categories:

1.Have an active Support Contract:

a. Impact: Customer continues to have Upgrade and Update rights for the number of perpetual licenses paid for on Support. Upgrade rights remain until March 1, 2016.
b. Action: Renew support at date of expiry to ensure they maintain Upgrade rights until March 1, 2016 and maintain Update rights beyond March 1, 2016.

2.Had a Support Contract but let it expire (incl. EZ Pass)

a. Impact: Customers will not be able to upgrade or update perpetual licenses for use on BES12 unless they have support coverage on March 1, 2015
b. Action: Renew Technical Support covering the number of perpetual licenses they want to Upgrade/Update

– Must back-pay to previous date of expiry

3.Have never had a Support contract with BlackBerry

a. Impact: Customers will not be able to upgrade or update perpetual licenses for use on BES12 unless they have support coverage on March 1, 2015
b. Action: Purchase Technical Support covering the number of perpetual licenses they want to Upgrade/Update before March 1, 2015. Alternatively, may purchase Universal Annual subscriptions to replace perpetual

EZ pass: please use ezpassgermany@blackberry.com if you want to cancel the EZpass support contract (also written in the mail all customers received last week)

Please communicate our policy as firm: Customers must cover all software and licenses on support. The customer cannot cover some licenses on Support and go unsupported on other licenses (see program description for your reference, page 3).

This said, our expectation is that a customer needs to put all active users under support and that there is no chance to split between old BES5 and new BES10/12 users. An EZPass customer needs to include the complete fleet for renewal.

Again, the customer can’t cover some active licenses and choose not to cover other licenses.

There is no standalone SKU for Software Assurance !

 As a refresher, here are a few of the key principles in the lead up to BES12 launch:

  1. We are not selling perpetual licenses for BES12
  2. We will no longer sell perpetual licenses for BES5 or BES10 after February 28, 2015 (End of Sale date)
  3. Customers that own perpetual licenses from previous BES versions (BES5, BES10), or who acquire perpetual licenses between now and February 28, 2015, must cover the perpetual licenses on a BlackBerry Support contract to qualify for the right to Upgrade these perpetual licenses to BES12 perpetual licenses.
  4. Customers that have already upgraded perpetual licenses to BES 12.0 through Support coverage (including EZ Pass Support), must maintain Support coverage in order to qualify for ongoing Update rights (BES12.1; 12.2; etc) for the perpetual licenses on BES12
  5. The number of perpetual licenses a customer can Upgrade/Update is based directly on the number of perpetual licenses that a customer has paid to cover on BlackBerry Support. (ie. Customer can’t pay for coverage of 100 Gold perpetual licenses, and try to Upgrade 500 Gold perpetual licenses). Customers can pay to add additional perpetual licenses to an existing support contract.
  6. Customers must be subscribed to BlackBerry Support by Feb 28, 2015 covering perpetual licenses to qualify for Upgrade Rights through Software Assurance. A customer cannot wait to subscribe to Support until March or beyond in order to gain access to use perpetual licenses on BES12.
    The only exception to this, is customers who have had a Support contract in the past from BlackBerry and let it expire/lapse. These customers can re-subscribe to re-instate their Upgrade and Update rights, but are subject to back-payment to the original date of expiry of their previous Support contract.
  7. Upgrade rights will be discontinued for all Support customers on Feb 28, 2016. This means that even customers who are paying for Support to cover perpetual licenses will not be able to Upgrade those licenses to the next major version of BES (eg. BES14.0)

 

Below are a list of options that a customer who owns or who plans to purchase perpetual licenses can take to address this:

  1. Subscribe to BlackBerry Support before March 1, 2015 covering the total number of perpetual licenses they plan to Upgrade
  2. Purchase Support coverage at the same time as any new perpetual licenses they purchase between now and Feb 28, 2015
  3. Purchase new Universal Annual Subscriptions for BES12 to replace their existing perpetual licenses. These Universal Annual subscriptions include:
  • Technical Support
  • Upgrade and Update rights for the duration of the subscription period (including to the next major version of BES when it becomes available)
  • Backwards compatibility to work on BES 10.1 and higher
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