British intelligence agency called in to break BlackBerry encryption

John Wilson tugwilson at
Mon Aug 29 11:29:48 BST 2011

On 29 August 2011 11:18, Peter Fairbrother <zenadsl6186 at> wrote:
> "British intelligence service, MI5 has been drafted in to assist its sister
> service, GCHQ in cracking the BlackBerry encryption code"
> Now GCHQ are the code boys and MI5 are supercops, and maybe Zdnet just got
> it the wrong way round.
> Or maybe GCHQ are asking MI5 for help in collecting plaintext/ciphertext
> pairs in order to attempt a crack - MI5 get the plaintexts by seizing
> Blackberries (or more likely getting the ordinary cops to seize them) and
> reading the messages on them, and GCHQ gets the cipherexts by interception.

Why would they not just buy a couple of handsets and send as many
messages as they like back and forth? They'd get as many
plaintext/ciphertext pairs as they wanted and they wouldn't need a
RIPA warrant.

John Wilson

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