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BlackBerry chief fumes at BBC

business Updated: Apr 14, 2011 22:14 IST
Gurumukh Singh

Research In Motion (RIM) founder Mike Lazaridis ordered a BBC reporter to end an interview after he was asked about his problems with India and West Asian countries over security issues.

“That’s just not fair,” Lazaridis shot back at BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones after one of his questions.

India and some West Asian countries are seeking access to BlackBerry enterprise emails in view of national security issues.

Looking sideways, a visibly upset RIM boss said: “First of all, we have no security problem. We’ve got the most secure platform. We’ve just been singled out because we're so successful around the world. It is an iconic product, it used by businesses, it is used by celebrities, it is used by consumers, it is used by teenagers... we are just singled out just because of our success.”

When the reporter pressed him further on India, the BlackBerry chief said: “We are dealing with a lot of issues... We are doing our best to deal with the kind of expertise...”

India has more than a million BlackBerry users.

The RIM co-CEO exploded when the reporter finally asked him whether he could “confidently tell” and assure BBC listeners in India and West Asia whether they could continue using the BlackBerry smartphone without any problems.

“The interview is over. You can’t use that, Rory. It’s just not fair. This is a national security issue. Turn that off,” the BlackBerry boss told the reporter.

The BBC has posted the video of this portion of the interview on its website.

The BBC interview followed Lazaridis’s recent interview to the New York Times in which he slammed those writing off the BlackBerry maker as a “broken brand”.