Edward Snowden has said that BlackBerry will be "erased from the pages of history" due to its weak stance on privacy and cosy relationship with government agencies.
Snowden, speaking at a Canadian technology conference on Wednesday, was keen to talk about BlackBerry and the fact that the company last year gave Canadian cops access to the firm's universal decryption key, enabling them to pore over one million BBM messages.
As reported at BetaKit, Snowden likened this to Apple's high-profile run-in with the FBI, which demanded that the firm bypassed the encryption on an iPhone 5C. Of course, Apple's stance was different to that taken by BlackBerry.
"You can end up standing up for what is right, you have to trust that even if it is digital, if you take a principled stand that that will do more good not just for your bottom line or country, but for your society and future," said Snowden.
"This is why [BlackBerry is] going to be erased from the pages of history. Apple is a very successful company, particularly as they make this pivot towards enforcing quite publicly the privacy rights. Ultimately, we're not talking about privacy, we're talking about the quality of society.
"[BlackBerry] follow the AT&T model, which is that the customer is not really the customer - the state is the customer. That's the only person they really have to please."
BlackBerry has long defended its actions, though, and the firm's CEO John Chen claimed that the company did "nothing wrong" in handing over access to users' personal messages.
"When it comes to doing the right thing in difficult situations, BlackBerry's guiding principle has been to do what is right for the citizen within legal and ethical boundaries," Chen said.
"We have long been clear in our stance that tech companies as good corporate citizens should comply with reasonable lawful access requests. I can reaffirm that we stood by our lawful access principles."
Chen criticised Apple's contrasting approach, saying that "we are indeed in a dark place when companies put their reputations above the greater good".
Snowden's comments come just weeks after BlackBerry signed a partnership with Rudy Giuliani's security consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, to use BlackBerry's Secure platform in support of government and enterprise customers.
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