At a time where we are constantly hearing about business and the lack of ethics, it is especially refreshing to hear about Mike Lazaridis, the founder of Research in Motion and developer of the Blackberry phone.
Saudi Arabia, the latest in a long list of countries has put pressure on R.I.M. to spy on messages that phone users are leaving. Rather than cave in to capture additional profits, Mr. Lazaridis made the choice to eliminate a country as purchasers and maintain his principles rather than to cave in to what he believes is wrong in order to capture more money.
Since R.I.M. wouldn’t “play ball”, Saudi Arabia ordered a ban on BlackBerry service, due to failure for the phone to meet its national regulatory requirements. (so presumably the ability to spy is a requirement).
In his stance with governmental ability to monitor messages from the BlackBerry network, Mr. Lazaridis commented “We’re not going to compromise that”, “That’s what’s made BlackBerry the No. one solution world-wide”. He also stressed that “if you were to ban strong encryption, you would shut down corporations, business, commerce, banking and the internet. “That’s not likely to happen.”
So, kudos to you Mr. Lazaridis and Research in Motion.