BlackBerry invests in new Security Innovation Center in the Washington, D.C. area

By Bla1ze on 6 Jan 2014 05:04 pm EST
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We heard earlier from BlackBerry's Executive Chair and CEO, John Chen that BlackBerry was planning on opening new Security Innovation Centers to help better their working relationships with Government organizations and now Chen gone ahead and made that information official during his speech given at CES Government, which is held each January as part of CES.

We are committed to working with government and industry experts to solve some of the biggest challenges we face in securing mobile communication. The Washington, D.C.-based security innovation center will be focused on creating lasting partnerships that will encourage ongoing dialogue aimed at making better products and policy.

Right now, there's not a lot of specific details about the Security Innovation Centers but BlackBerry makes note in their press release that more information will be available in the coming weeks. 

Press Release

BlackBerry Makes New Investment in Security Innovation Center in the Washington, D.C. Area

Las Vegas - BlackBerry, in attendance at CES Government (CESG), communicated its intention to invest in a new security innovation center in the Washington, D.C. area. Building on BlackBerry's technical experience and leadership in mobile security, the new Center will serve as a hub for collaboration with key government customers and other expert partners.

CESG is held each January as part of the world-renowned International Consumer Electronics Show (CES). John Chen, Chief Executive Officer of BlackBerry addressed key members of Congress and government officials on Monday at the show.

""We are committed to working with government and industry experts to solve some of the biggest challenges we face in securing mobile communication. The Washington, D.C.-based security innovation center will be focused on creating lasting partnerships that will encourage ongoing dialogue aimed at making better products and policy," said Chen during his speech at CESG."

Chen added, "Ron will focus on BlackBerry's long-term product roadmap, including hardware, software and design, as well as the Company's joint development efforts. A good deal of Ron's time will be spent with customers, carriers and partners. On our path to return BlackBerry to profitability, nothing is more important than remaining deeply connected to our customers, and designing and delivering secure products that exceed their expectations."

Additional details will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Follow BlackBerry on Twitter @BlackBerry4Biz and on our blog at http://bizblog.blackberry.com/.

Reader comments

BlackBerry invests in new Security Innovation Center in the Washington, D.C. area

88 Comments

Very true. And many things Chen is now announcing started with TH. He just wasn't given chance to see many of his ideas (such as Foxconn) through to finish. Interesting to see what would happen if he could have seen all these through to completion.

Posted via CB10

yea, just bring it out with killer value for price ratio with all bells and whistles that get the common ppl to at-least stop take notice. the os might not need high-end specs but #s bring in volumes.

But wait aren't they going under?...........(facepalm)

This is great news. Hopefully no negative nancies come along and rain on it!

BlackBerry forever, haters never!

To me it's BlackBerry solidifying its base and proactively working to keep its regulated customers in the fold.

Posted via CB10

I agree with whofrank. A few weeks ago BlackBerry users were happy BlackBerry was in Canada faraway from any government prying eyes and now there is a "security" facility in DC. Really people, really?

Posted via CB10

I hope youre wrong bit I cant say it didnt put the tought in my head to, specially end "government" is involved... they are not putting a stop on NSA even with all the evidences, its clear a lot of people are involved in this and conspiracy theory or not, truth is the info they have access to and the way they act above the law is total madness.
I hope Blackberry makes the moves into this with caution.

If they put end user / device security in mind there's really a lot of tools they can use and open source...

Example: OpenPGP, OTR, zRTP...

also I would love to see support for openvpn...

give the end users the power to keep theire data secure instead of doing it at server side only...

Just stay away from NSA et.al. infiltration, and don't compromise (no pun) your security track record and good standing with the corporate world and other governments that don't like being snooped on.

My name is Prem, I'm using BBM ... from my QuZe10 ...whatarhyme...

Maybe set up a shop there, where pollies can pick up a secusmart or other certified Berry, and add a free trade-in / swap program for iPhones.

My name is Prem, I'm using BBM ... from my QuZe10 ...whatarhyme...

Smart guy this Chen. Keeps getting better. Striking right at the heart of the states is probably one of the single smartest moves so far. This guy is really going all out on a mission.

Posted via CB10

This is like a nice slap in the face to anyone still droning on about BlackBerry being dead or being worried about their future. You listening Pfizer?

Posted via CB10

You have half of the post about Ron's appointment tacked onto the end of this. Cut-and-paste giving you some problems??

Posted via CB10

So... regardless of what happens with the hardware division, BlackBerry will still remain relevant regardless? Absolutely a smart play, I don't think it's a "contingency plan" so to speak but rather a blaring reminder that "hey, maybe you (government) guys might want a world with BlackBerry still in it. Just sayin'..."

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry can target all the software they want, but without hardware, there wouldn't be software. Its all fine to help protect iOS and Android, but at this time BB10 represents the future of mobility and they haven't even tapped into BB10's true potential. Everything is timing, and Chen seems to be hitting the nail on the head.

I look forward to more positive BBRY news.

Absolutely, but I think you're misinterpreting my comment. I'm saying that there's a low-key belief that there might actually be a concerted effort - particularly in the US - to bury BlackBerry phone sales. I'm saying that if those fears are realized and BlackBerry gets pushed out of the market, the company couldn't really "disappear" given important services they provide, including this new Government-oriented security initiative, QNX, MDM deployment in enterprise (BES), etc.

Believe me, the last thing I actually want is for BlackBerry to stop making handhelds. The only smartphones I've owned have been BlackBerry devices and I'm a shareholder. Just looking for value in what appears to already be good/great news.

I agree Chen has been in the job what, like 2 1/2 months. look at all the changes he's taken and how he's changed the dialog of blackberry. TH had the company up for sale as soon as he had the chance and Chen came in with a positive outlook and said "we can do this" and took it off the market. He also inspired confidence and got blackberries stock to rise while posting a 4 billion dollar loss. Refocused on hardware. Sued typo, cleaned up TH mess. He fired the idiots that were useless there and has taken action on every front. Love him so far

Posted via CB10

BOD provided obscene bonuses for a sale, it's human nature, sell the company get 55 million. Maybe if they hung a huge bonus for success, TH would have directed his energies elsewhere.

The Board of Directors probably put BlackBerry on sale, not Heins by himself. I think they gave him a time limit to turn things around and when that didn't happen, the for sale sign went up and when that didn't pan out, Heins was forced out.

I think that is a more reasonable take on it, rather than these people who heap praise on whoever is in the chair making news at the moment.

Everyone wants to rationalize failure and blame it on some figurehead because they don't know anything else about the company and want to assign blame. Reality is generally not that simple. TH was a big improvement in many ways from the previous management, but it became increasingly apparent over time that he needed more strategic vision.

Chen certainly seems very capable, but he really has no choice but to shake things up at this point, if he DIDN'T make major changes the company had nowhere to go but down...

I was thinking the same thing. But then also thought that, well.. if the government uses BlackBerry to keep us from snooping on them. Does it work the other way around? Or is BlackBerry helping them, and we've lost all hope?

BlackBerry has ALWAYS had a very close relationship with these governmental institutions.

If the world at large would have accepted BlackBerry 10 as a mass market product over the last year, then they would not have been forced to fire another 5,000 people and shrink back to their traditional userbase which is easier to save than trying to one-up Apple and Google in the mass market right now.

They'll just have to build on that for a year or two, then maybe they can make another stab at the mass market again.

Yes, though even if they're partly for publicity, I think moves like this are long overdue. But while it's great people here are excited, the uber-enthusiasm seems a little premature. Chen is just steering the company towards what he's already said: enterprise and government markets, which have more specialized needs, particularly around security. This doesn't mean that future BB devices are going to be very appealing or even easily accessible to general consumers, which I'm guessing make up the majority of this site's visitors.

Of course, a healthy BBRY bodes well for anyone who hopes to use a BB again in the future, even if the company focuses less on the consumer market for a while.

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

This is giving BBRY some awesome news coverage. Hopefully soon the BlackBerry name will once again be equated to Security.
Good work Mr. Chen, keep them rolling.
BbRy4LiFe

The government loves BB, now we just need the carriers to give a damn about supporting them. I have the Z10 but went to Verizon today( not a real Verizon, just a certified store) and the manager told me that BlackBerry was out of business so I couldn't get a Z30. I just walked out because of her stupidity.

Posted via CB10

Sam thing happened to me when I went to get my Q10 from Three uk. Makes you feel insulted. It was enough to make me jump network just to have the phone I knew I wanted........ and not be talked into a s4 or i5 at the time. That's one of blackberries problems highlighted right there!

Posted via CB10

Ask them to bet some cash on it. If they're confident, they'll take it and you'll get some cash. If they're not, they'll certainly look it up and know the truth.

Yeah I should of. To be honest I was just to mad after they told me to my face (who buys a blackberry now). At that point I said your an idiot and know nothing about mobile technology or manners and left the store. A few of my friends have come up against this problem. They think most people just want entertainment on phones now and don't really listen or even give blackberry a chance. Even the sales girl in EE didn't really know anything about the Q10 I bought, she was just happy to make the sale all the same.

Posted via CB10

USA gov only bought 30,000 phones last time I heard and are ready to buy more just about now,so giving them access to BB in their own backyard is surely going to help.Go where the money is, and along with this effort if they are successful ,will bring in tons of good publicity not to mention much needed income.It,s all good.

I always said "screw the fire sale ..get back to work BlackBerry "!

And they ARE!

Go get em, Chen and company!

Posted via CB10

I like the positive direction the company is going in.

Posted on my BlackBerry Q10, because I'm so Bloody Special.

Wow I've seen more more change with Chen in the last 3 months then the whole old team did in 5 years making big changes bb2014 and 2015 is going to be a good year for them keep it up.

Posted via my awesome 5 inch BlackBerry Z30 :)

The strategy is working perfectly: Keep the BlackBerry Brand in the news via weekly press releases. Whether it's a new initiative, defending intellectual rights, Android BBM beta, etc, constant press releases are forcing those news outlets to report and talk about BlackBerry!
In the Weeks to come: a new Blackberry Creative Director, 10.2 official release, cross platform BBM voice, then Video, then BBM on windows. Things are looking good.

Hey: how about a Super Bowl commercial, huh? ( can't wait) !

Posted via CB10

Just guessing, but I don't think the role of Creative Director is going to be filled. Position rationalized. Not a knock on Alicia, just based on the direction and emphasis of the New BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

Washington, DC probably isn't the city you want to set up a new security innovation center. If nothing else, it's a bad image.

Mr. Chen sir I do say you have the reins and that your horse is equipped to handle the race. I am at your service and I will back you 110%!

Keep The Faith  BlackBerry Q10 

I realize what BlackBerry needs to do to to keep relevant in the US, esp with the govt agencies but getting personal like this with Washington. I suddenly got a nervous feeling about it all. To me washington has got its noses in everybody's affairs worldwide and now blackberry is in its fold. Cant say I truly like the idea, unless im reading it the wrong way. Someone please correct me. I would hate Blackberry to be controlled this way.

If this relationship works out, just watch cus all of a sudden Blackberry will be " trendy" again.

Just my worthless pennies.

Blackberry, my proverbial middle finger

Great. BlackBerry software developed in partnership with the US Government. How will this impact relations between BlackBerry and other governments, with other governments already concerned about the whole NSA fiasco?

BlackBerry's close collaboration w/ government agencies is nothing new. It has been one of their most important customer categories for many years.

Probably why they've ditched BIS and forced everyone to keep all their emails, contacts and calendars in the cloud.... bigger goldmine for the spies ;)

Good news! Next big news will be BB10 spreading like weed in emerging markets including China with the help of Foxconn. I have a feeling that Chen has given substantial incentive to Foxconn to make this a success.

Cheaper and more effective than a SuperBowl commercial or other forms of conventional advertising.

My name is Prem, I'm using BBM ... from my QuZe10 ...whatarhyme...

Finally they seem to be getting it. They've needed a major presence in DC for some time, and especially with the BB10 launch.

Posted via CB10

Sounds as though BlackBerry is getting into bed with the NSA to ensure BlackBerry devices can be accessed and read despite encryption.

Posted via the BlackBerry Q5 using CB10.

I like the initiative, but I'd like to know more about what will be going on there. Great showing the commitment to government clients and perhaps the US market. I wonder if this will lead to similar centers. In other countries?

Posted while peeking and flowing on my incredible BBQ10! 

He should open a second in London then people will associate BlackBerry with James Bond

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry, this is a brilliant move...just don't give NSA/CIA/DIA/NIST/DHS a backdoor into your products!!! You have the best phone security of any mobile phone in the world, don't compromise it.
Sell the govt phones, LOTS of them.lots of enterprise solutions too-God knows they can use help with organization! Sell them the QNX OS...THE Ageis missile cruiser uses windows 2000 as its primary OS-think what it could do with QNX as its OS!! QNX in govt. Applications could be a HUGE new revenue stream for BlackBerry.....
Keep moving blackberry, I like what I'm seeing!

Posted via CB10

What a confident and proactive Chen. I really do think he should work on a new Blackberry "Bold " named after his bold actions in what everyone in the media seemed to be counting out of the smartphone race. This guy is beaming with confidence everyday I hear of him.

Swiping & tapping on my amazing ZeeTen

Well since BlackBerry made its name first with governments and business, that it would open a tech centre in Washington, a town synonymous with government. Its proximity to the city on the hill i.e. Rome i.e. Washington, is only natural...

I agree, given the recent revelations, courtesy of Mr. Snowden, about the extent of NSA (and other agencies) surveillance, this move does make me somewhat uneasy . However as a strategic business decision, it makes absolute sense. And right about now BlackBerry needs any and every advantage it can get.

I would also like to say hello to the gentlemae over at the NSA reading this message! Have a good night also!

Cartman says: Screw you guys I'm going home!