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RIM CEO abruptly stops BBC interview citing ‘national security issue’

“Alright, so it’s over, [the] interview’s over. Please, you can’t use that Rory, it’s just not fair… We’ve dealt with this, this is a national security issue, turn that off…”

This was RIM’s co-CEO Mike Lazaridis’s response to a question posed by BBC‘s technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, when he was pressed on issues the smartphone maker was facing in India and the Middle East last year. Following terrorist acts orchestrated via BlackBerry smartphones, governments pushed for greater access to RIM’s BlackBerry platform, which is widely recognised as one of the most secure mobile platforms in the world.

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Cellan-Jones questioned Lazaridis on the status of the situation in India and Middle East, referring to it as a “security issue”. Lazaridis, noticeably upset by the way the question was posed, called for an end to the interview.

Lazaridis response was apt, as the issue was of a sensitive nature, both for the BlackBerry brand, and the governments of the countries question. RIM has not issued any official statements on their agreed solutions with the countries, and would understandably not be willing to divulge any information candidly.

The question was also posed in such a way as to suggest an underlying security issue in general with the BlackBerry platform, which Lazaridis was quick to dismiss: “First of all, we have no security problems… We’ve got the most secure platform… we’ve just been singled out, because we’re so successful around the world. It’s an iconic product, used by business, it’s used by leaders, it’s used by celebrities, it’s used by consumers, it’s used by teenagers, we were just singled out.”

The smartphone maker is undergoing a renaissance of sorts, and with so much riding on the PlayBook’s success, RIM can’t afford to ruffle any feathers right now.

You can watch the interview below:

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