The Curious Case of El Chapo and BlackBerry [Infographic]

by Shikhar Srivastava 1,769 views1


For a very long time the tech media touted BlackBerry as the most secure smartphone going around. The hype was strengthened by BlackBerry’s own claims of being super secure. Back in the day everybody who wanted a “smartphone” would opt for a BlackBerry because well, it was the only option everybody had. Then came along the iPhone and a little later Android phones flooded the market. While BlackBerry saw a serious decline in sales and popularity the aura around the security of its phones remained. This was 7 or 8 years ago.

Welcome to 2016.

BlackBerry has been on the verge of being wiped off the mobile map completely for a couple of years now. There have been talks of BlackBerry getting acquired or shutting down its hardware business altogether. Then like the guest that initially didn’t get the memo and when he did he forgot the way to the party and couldn’t make it on time, BlackBerry finally found its way to the Android party. Some would argue 3 years too late. With the launch of the BlackBerry Priv the tech media was gung-ho about an unsecure Android ecosystem getting a face-lift thanks to BlackBerry’s security. Truth be told even I don’t want BlackBerry to die and hope the BlackBerry Priv can bring some of the lost glory back to the company.

Then something unprecedented happened. The world’s most wanted, on the run, criminal decided that he needed a secure phone. As it turns out his very own flying squad Googled and found the most secure phone one could own on this planet – a BlackBerry. When Mexican drug lord Joaquín Guzmán, better known in newsrooms around the world as El Chapo, was finally arrested BlackBerry got what can only be described as its maximum press coverage in years. But does this count as good press? I am not too sure.

More from iSpyPrice: Have you seen this BlackBerry mobile price list?

As it turns out The Gunman star Sean Penn was able to land an interview with Guzman (Oh the irony!) over the “super secure” BBM. And later this helped authorities clamp down on Guzman and finally arrest him. So BBM was secure enough for Penn and El Chapo to communicate without getting caught and wasn’t secure enough for the authorities to decrypt BBM messages and get hold of El Chapo. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? Of course it doesn’t if you believe there is such a thing as an unhackable, secure, mobile security system. That BlackBerry has been hacked umpteen times is no secret but you can count on the unsavory elements in the tech media to have you believe that anything they say is possible.

The El Chapo case pretty much exposed the BlackBerry security myth and has also exposed some of the shady tech reporting that goes on these days. We created an infographic to depict these two scenarios. Share it far and wide so that it reaches the BlackBerry bosses and maybe even those that recommended a BlackBerry to El Chapo for security reasons.

El Chapo

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