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Public Policy and Government Relations

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As one of the world’s leading communications technology companies with customers in more than 175 countries, BlackBerry actively participates in governmental proceedings, industry associations and technology standards bodies.

Shaping public policy and engaging in regulatory affairs

BlackBerry helps to drive innovation, shape global policies and promote access to leading-edge technologies. BlackBerry partners with national and international organizations and industry bodies around the world to advance the development of wireless technology and mobile communications. In fiscal 2012, BlackBerry participated in public consultations across multiple jurisdictions on a range of issues including spectrum, privacy, security, convergence, accessibility, intellectual property, and other issues.

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Customer Privacy

BlackBerry has a long history in providing secure and privacy-enhanced mobile communications, and is committed to protecting the privacy of our customers’ personal information. Through the BlackBerry Code of Business Standards and Principles, BlackBerry employees are made aware of the importance of appropriately and securely handling personal information, keeping such information in secure locations and systems, and limiting access to personal information on a “need to know” basis for business reasons. Our Privacy Policy informs our customers about how we collect, use and disclose their personal information, and is updated occasionally to keep it current with changing technologies, laws, our evolving business practices and the needs of our customers.

Lawful access

Lawful access is a request by national or international law enforcement authorities to telecom carriers or technology suppliers for access to user communications for the purposes of law enforcement, investigation or prosecution as duly requested under the laws of a jurisdiction. A common requirement around the world, lawful access may be required for reasons such as investigating, solving or prosecuting crime, or for ensuring national security.

Like others in our industry, from time to time, BlackBerry may receive requests from legal authorities for lawful access assistance. We are guided by appropriate legal processes and publicly disclosed lawful access principles in this regard, as we balance any such requests against our priority of maintaining privacy rights of our users. We do not speculate or comment upon individual matters of lawful access. Additionally, BlackBerry does not provide special deals for individual countries, and we clearly stipulate that BlackBerry has no ability to support the access of BlackBerry® Enterprise Server (BES) communications as only our enterprise clients have control over the encryption keys for these communications. BlackBerry is committed to operating its business in accordance with recognized industry standards of business and social responsibility in the markets we serve. BlackBerry will continue to evaluate the markets in which we operate, we will engage and express our views to government and we will continue to operate in a principled manner.

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  • BlackBerry lawful access principles
    1. The carriers’ capabilities are limited to the strict context of lawful access and national security requirements as governed by the country’s judicial oversight and rules of law.
    2. The carriers’ capabilities must be technology- and vendor-neutral, allowing no greater access to BlackBerry consumer services than the carriers and regulators already impose on BlackBerry’s competitors and other similar communications technology companies.
    3. No changes to the security architecture for BlackBerry Enterprise Server customers since, contrary to any rumors, the security architecture is the same around the world and BlackBerry truly has no ability to provide its customers’ encryption keys.

      Also driving BlackBerry’s position is the fact that strong encryption is a fundamental commercial requirement for any country to attract and maintain international business anyway and similarly strong encryption is currently used pervasively in traditional VPNs on both wired and wireless networks in order to protect corporate and government communications.

    4. BlackBerry maintains a consistent global standard for lawful access requirements that does not include special deals for specific countries.

Content filtering

Content filtering refers to the ability to remove access to inappropriate and/or illegal Internet–based content. While often applied in the home or in a business to screen inappropriate content such as malware or pornography, content filtering requirements are generally established by national governments or voluntarily in many countries by Internet service providers, including telecom carriers. BlackBerry is not an Internet service provider. Like our competitors, we support our carrier partners around the world to meet their obligations or commitments by working with them to ensure the availability of appropriate content filtering solutions for BlackBerry smartphones.

Child online safety and protection

Online safety and the protection of children and young people in the mobile environment are especially important to BlackBerry. 

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  • In June 2012, we launched parental controls for all BlackBerry smartphone users. These controls are available for all BlackBerry smartphones via a downloadable app for some of our older models and integrated on newer BlackBerry smartphones. BlackBerry parental controls provide parents the peace of mind to control various settings on their child’s BlackBerry smartphone such as the browser, text messaging and social networks.  As part of the introduction of the new BlackBerry 10 platform, BlackBerry also introduced new parental controls settings to turn on and off purchases in the BlackBerry World app store as well as in-app purchases for those apps using BlackBerry World’s payment system.

    For BlackBerry smartphone and BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet applications, BlackBerry® World™ offers content rating and filtering options based on the CTIA Wireless Association’s “Guidelines for App Content Classification and Ratings”. This feature enables parents to set a rating filter in BlackBerry World to restrict content of specified ratings from being displayed or purchased.  Along with the new music and video store integrated into the BlackBerry 10 platform, we have taken this one step further by offering parents and guardians the ability to control the music, movies and television their child can access based on its rating.  Furthermore, BlackBerry and other leading companies have joined the “CEO Coalition to make the Internet a better place for kids”, which is a voluntary initiative designed to respond to challenges arising from the diverse ways in which young people go online. 

Providing Security for our Customers

As a market leader in the area of information assurance and compliance, BlackBerry is committed to independent third-party approvals and certification of our smartphone and tablet products. For example, BlackBerry is active in the Cryptographic Module Validation Program in North America, United Kingdom CESG Assisted Product Service (CAPS) and International Common Criteria evaluation scheme. The protective measures built into BlackBerry smartphones and PlayBook tablets allow customers to securely access corporate information.

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  • In recent years, BlackBerry achieved the following important security certifications:

    • BlackBerry® 7 smartphones running the BlackBerry 7 and BlackBerry 7.1 Operating Systems were awarded Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 certification by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Communications Security Establishment Canada
    • BlackBerry 7 OS was awarded Common Criteria certification at Evaluation Assurance Level 4+ (EAL4+), the highest level of accreditation for commercial products under the Common Criteria Recognition Arrangement, which is recognized by 26 countries
    • The BlackBerry® Smart Card Reader achieved FIPS 140-2 certification level 3 – the highest certification achieved by any wireless smart card reader on the market
    • BlackBerry PlayBook became the first tablet certified for U.S. government use after achieving the FIPS 140-2 certification from NIST, which is required under the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002
    • BlackBerry 10 OS has also achieved FIPS 140-2 certification from NIST.

    View independent, third-party approvals and certifications of BlackBerry security

Corporate Responsibility Report 2013

2013

Corporate Responsibility Report

report-2012

2012

Corporate Responsibility Report