The German government has given BlackBerry Ltd. the green light to integrate the voice encryption of security vendor Secusmart GmbH on its devices and software.
It was back in July this year that BlackBerry (TSE: BB) announced its intentions to purchase the Dusseldorf-based firm that develops the software and hardware used to secure the phones of German government officials including that of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The German government has about 2,500 BlackBerry devices equipped with a microSD card that contains Secusmart’s encryption software. The MicroSD card acts a separate hard drive for confidential data. Merkel, herself switched to such a device following the controversial 2013 leak of the Edward Snowden files which revealed the United States’ National Security Agency was tapping the chancellor’s mobile phone.
According to a report by Arstechnica.com, BlackBerry had to sign an anti-spying agreement in order for the deal to go through. There have been concerns among some German lawmakers regarding Canada’s close ties with the U.S.
According to reports, BlackBerry was required to provide the German information security agency, BSI, full access to its source code. The German government also required that Secusmart development work should continue to be done in Germany.
BlackBerry is also not allowed to share private information with foreign government or intelligence agencies.