Editors' pick: Originally published July 29.

Corrects article from 4:44 p.m. EDT Thursday. BlackBerry does not provide decryption access to its phones.

BlackBerry (BBRY) has become known for its super-secure smartphones, even if people aren't exactly lining up to buy them. In fact, the company is calling its new device, the DTEK50, the "world's most secure" phone. That's quite a statement considering it might not be true.

Apple (AAPL - Get Report)  and other tech companies including Facebook's (FB - Get Report) WhatsApp (which we'll touch on in a minute) have been in the news for their refusal to cooperate with law enforcement.

In Apple's case, the FBI was prepared to go toe-to-toe with the tech titan in trying to force the company to provide law enforcement with the information trapped on one of the San Bernardino shooters' iPhone. Since Apple does not have an end-around connection for law enforcement it would have had to build an operating system for the phone in order to hack it. The company was not willing to do this.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen, however, does not take the all-out user privacy stance of many of his peers in Silicon Valley. Chen has argued these companies are putting their reputations above the "greater good" and said there's a "balance" between doing what's right and wrong.

So does the DTEK50 provide the same access? That hasn't been answered and it will be interesting to see if BlackBerry integrated access into the new phone. If so, calling it the "most secure" may be overreaching.

Shares of BlackBerry closed at $7.62 Thursday, up 0.5%. 


Uber and Didi Chuxing, the latter of which recently received a $1 billion investment from Apple, officially have the green light to operate in China.

But isn't Didi from China and doesn't Uber already operate there? Well, yes. But that doesn't mean they were doing so with permission. Ironically, China will formally allow the services to operate in November. Which is odd, considering they already operate within the country.

Still, the news paves the way for the companies to continue operating and management teams no longer have to fear being shut out of China, one of the world's largest markets.

In fact, the new regulations are "less onerous than some had feared," according to Bloomberg. Many view it as a good thing. And it's just one more piece in the evolving Chinese economy, as workers from the industrial sector are now signing up to be drivers, as their services are needed less and less and they quickly need to find new careers.


Earlier this month, Brazil blocked WhatsApp within the country because WhatsApp would not provide the court with text information that is a part of an investigation. WhatsApp -- which has end-to-end encryption -- said that even if it wanted to access the texts, it could not provide it because of the privacy protections put in place.

This is what concerns courts and law enforcement. Without access to the information and without the tech companies playing ball, it's nearly impossible for them to get their hands on certain intel.

The WhatsApp service, which is used by over 200 million people in Brazil, had its block lifted shortly after it was put on. But now the country has frozen some of Facebook's funds. However, after the company reported ridiculously-impressive earnings results on Wednesday, I don't think its management team is too worried about the $11.7 million worth of frozen funds.

Shares of Facebook closed at $125.00 Thursday, up 1.35%.

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This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.