BlackBerry CEO says phone leaks have to stop, will take serious action if they don’t


BlackBerry CEO John Chen has taken to the Inside BlackBerry blog to speak out against leaks, calling them “at best, distracting, and at their worst downright misleading.” He’s so annoyed about the prospect of secret BlackBerry plans being leaked out, he’s promising to take action against those who do, which includes dragging them off to court.

Leaks have become an everyday part of tech news coverage online, but Chen points out how damaging they can be to companies. “One of the most frustrating things for us at BlackBerry,” he says, “is when a critical and confidential project is reported in the media before we’re ready to discuss it.” It’s not just about ruining the surprise for potential buyers, with Chen adding, “The business implications of a leak are seldom advantageous.” 

Chen isn’t all bark, and in the post describes how he’s already taking legal action against someone who stole and subsequently leaked information about a secret BlackBerry phone. Apparently, the person in question “posed as an employee of a carrier partner to obtain access to secured networks,” to obtain the details.

The nature of the leak which prompted the blog post isn’t discussed, but the most recent unofficial news from the BlackBerry world is about version 10.3 of the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which could feature a fresh new design. Prior to this, there was some coverage of a nasty-looking prototype phone, the leak of which probably didn’t please anyone.

While no-one will challenge Chen’s stance on information so obviously criminally obtained, it’s unusual to see a company make such a public fuss about leaks today. By condemning leaks, the post inadvertently gives them credence, hence why most manufacturers completely ignore them. Chen warns that because of the crackdown, we will see fewer leaks regarding future BlackBerry plans, so the company’s dwindling fan base will have even less to talk about. Doesn’t sound like anyone wins here.