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RIM Spies on Their Employees BlackBerry phones… Surprised?

robin_bienfait_CIO Luis sent me a article yesterday from CNet that shed a little light on how RIM tries to protect their intellectual property. RIM Chief Information Officer Robin Bienfait sat down with ZDnet Australia for an interview about how she protects RIM’s internal network. As a security professional myself, I knew that RIM probably recorded all information sent and received on their networks, but Bienfait gave me quite a bit more detail into what they actually do.

Bienfait said straight out that RIM records all of their employees’ conversations, which many companies do to protect their intellectual property. I guess one of the downsides of getting a free BlackBerry when you work at RIM is that they are always spying on you. :) Bienfait also confirmed that “Everything I have that’s on RIM is recorded and retained as RIM. So if they want to have a chat with somebody and it’s not a chat that’s within RIM’s domain, then they may want their own personal device.” Now I understand why many of the RIM employees I know have a second device…

ZDnet went a little further into Bienfait’s security paranoia when they asked her if they just recorded conversations and not written information. Bienfait simply answered: “Everything. I record everything.” Recording everything that a employee does with company owned devices is totally in line with legal and privacy laws. Employees are told that their information is logged and stored.

It looks like Bienfait is also in charge of securing pre-release devices or “engineering units”, as they are called. They trust employees to guard them when they are out in public, and if the information or device is leaked, they try to track it down to an employee. Even Bienfait admits that employees are creative with their excuses, claiming that they lost them in a taxi…

As I said, this is not anything new since many companies record what their employees do. They might even be recording you now reading BerryReview. :) It’s just interesting to get some insight about just how paranoid RIM has to be to keep their secrets tight to their chests.

4 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Not surprising in the least.

  2. 100% expected.
    My company does the same.
    Hence I have a personal Blackberry, not a corporate issued.

  3. Another reason why some RIM employees have iPhone’s and other data devices.

  4. Why would anybody be surprised by this?

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