BlackBerry Acquires German Anti-Eavesdropping Technology Used by Merkel

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Struggling Canadian mobile company BlackBerry announced on Tuesday that it has acquired a German security company whose technology prevents eavesdropping on phone calls or data.

According to Blackberry, Secusmart provides high-security voice and data encryption and anti-eavesdropping solutions. Its technology is used by government organizations, enterprises and telecommunications service providers in Germany and around the world. It is even used by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Germany is a country known for keeping data within nation borders. Merkel is particularly outspoken about the need for protecting German data from the US. In February, Merkel called for separate European communications network that would keep data within EU’s borders and not allow it to pass through US-based servers.

As BlackBerry is focused on turning its ailing company around, this acquisition could give it some security cred. Security and privacy are especially relevant topics for government or enterprise customers, an area where the company has typically focused.  BlackBerry would have to do a lot more than this acquisition, however, to gain back some of the mobile market share it has lost to Apple or Samsung.

“We are always improving our security solutions to keep up with the growing complexity of enterprise mobility, with devices being used for more critical tasks and to store more critical information, and security attacks becoming more sophisticated,” John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry said. “The acquisition of Secusmart underscores our focus on addressing growing security costs and threats ranging from individual privacy to national security. This acquisition bolsters our security solutions with leading voice and data encryption and anti-eavesdropping technologies, and furthers BlackBerry’s security leadership in end-to-end mobile solutions.”

BlackBerry and Secusmart have worked together before to offer Secusmart’s technology. Last year, the SecuSUITE for BlackBerry 10 was selected by Germany’s Federal Office for Information Security. The partnership has enabled BlackBerry to provide smartphones to “a significant number of German government agencies and almost all German government ministries and leaders.”

“This transaction is a fantastic opportunity to accelerate growth in the market for high-end secure communications solutions, driven by the need to combat electronic eavesdropping and data theft,” Dr. Hans-Christoph Quelle, Managing Director of Secusmart said. “Secusmart and BlackBerry’s solution already meets the highest security requirements of the German federal authorities and NATO for restricted communications. We see significant opportunities to introduce Secusmart’s solutions to more of BlackBerry’s government and enterprise customers around the world.”

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