Menu
BlackBerry's deal to buy voice crypto company Secusmart blessed by German government

BlackBerry's deal to buy voice crypto company Secusmart blessed by German government

The deal will let BlackBerry step up its cross-platform push with better security

BlackBerry is now free to integrate German security vendor Secusmart's voice encryption technology on its smartphones and software, after the German government approved its acquisition of the company.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen still wants his company to be the first choice of CIOs that want nothing but the best security as he works to turn around the company's fortunes. The acquisition of Secusmart lets the company add the capability to encrypt voice and data communication to government security standards.

In this post-Edward Snowden world, cross-border acquisitions of security vendors have become even more touchy than before. Since Secusmart's technology is used by the German government -- including chancellor Angela Merkel , according to the company itself -- it was extra sensitive.

After careful consideration the deal has now been approved, and the German government has protected its national security with the help of a special treaty, a spokeswoman at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy said on Friday. She didn't elaborate on what demands the treaty puts on BlackBerry.

When BlackBerry announced the deal to buy Secusmart back in July, it didn't come as much of a surprise. The two companies had already been working intimately with each other on SecuSuite for BlackBerry 10.

The product was launched in March last year and encrypts both phone calls and data communications. It uses a microSD card for storing encrypted documents, and a smartcard chip that performs the encryption. The new BlackBerry Passport handset was added to the list of compatible products this month.

The acquisition doesn't just let BlackBerry integrate Secusmart's features on its own OS. It can also help BlackBerry advance its cross-platform push. For example, Secusmart has developed the Secure Call app with network operator Vodafone, which lets users make encrypted phone calls using Android-based devices and Apple's iPhones.

That part of Chen's turnaround plan has become increasingly important as sales of BlackBerry's own smartphones represented less than 1 percent of total smartphone shipments during the third quarter, according to Strategy Analytics. This month, BlackBerry also joined forces with Samsung Electronics to integrate BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server) 12 with Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesBlackberrySecuSmartsecurityMobile OSesencryptionmobileMergers and acquisitions

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments