Canadian Police Have Had BlackBerry’s Global Decryption Key Since 2010

Canadian police have been in possession of a BlackBerry’s global decryption key since 2010, reports Vice. The site says recently released court documents reveal that the key was used in a criminal investigation to intercept over 1 million BBM messages.

The documents were made public after members of a Montreal crime syndicate pleaded guilty to their role in a 2011 murder, and they shine some light on the extent that BlackBerry, as well as telco giant Rogers, is willing to cooperate with investigators.
According to technical reports by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police that were filed in court, law enforcement intercepted and decrypted roughly one million PIN-to-PIN BlackBerry messages in connection with the probe. The report doesn’t disclose exactly where the key — effectively a piece of code that could break the encryption on virtually any BlackBerry message sent from one device to another — came from. But, as one police officer put it, it was a key that could unlock millions of doors.
Government lawyers spent almost two years fighting in a Montreal courtroom to keep this information out of the public record.
In a report filed with the Super Court of Quebec, the RCMP said it had obtained “the key that would unlock the doors of all the houses of the people who use the provider’s services, and that, without their knowledge.” 

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