Some facts and news first and then my comment. Here is a video of RIM CEO calls a halt to BBC Click interview
Here is a link to BBC source video and info text,
“The BBC’s technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones spoke to Mike Lazaridis, the co-chief executive of Research In Motion (RIM), the Canadian firm behind Blackberry.
After questioning him about RIM’s new Playbook tablet, he asked a question for BBC Click about RIM’s problems in India and the Middle East, where governments want to gain greater access to the tight security system used for Blackberry’s business users.
Mr Lazaridis responded by saying the question was unfair, and that the interview was over. A more complete cut of the interview will be broadcast on the television edition of BBC Click later in April.”
Here is CBC News report of the story of Mike walking off the BBC interview, “RIM co-CEO in spotlight as PlayBook launches” (emphasis added),
“Research in Motion Ltd. faces extra attention as its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet launches, the result of a public tantrum this week by the Canadian company’s co-CEO.
Mike Lazaridis made headlines after he abruptly ended a video interview with the BBC, calling a reporter’s questions “unfair.” The video was posted on the BBC’s dot.Rory technology blog just a day before the PlayBook’s launch party Thursday in New York City.”
* Walking off an interview can sometimes create worst reactions than to stay clam and try to address a question (whether you see it as fair or not). Sometimes walking out of a harassing interview is the only way but I don’t see the BBC interview as one of those.
* RIM’s email/messaging (potential) security issues and problems is a very complex topic. Making matter worst is that it involve users’ legitimate security needs (imagine users being human rights and democracy fighters in China) and differentiating countries’ legitimate vs made-up/illegitimate “national securities concerns”.
* Security and encryption technologies are a bit out of my expertises but I recommend reading security expert Bruce Schneier’s Aug 3, 2010 analysis “UAE to Ban BlackBerrys“ to gain some understanding of the relevant issues.
P.S. Here is a mostly positive with some negatives review by tech writer Om Malik “BlackBerry Tablet, PlayBook, a Notable Debut”. Too bad the Playbook reviews (positive or negative) will likely be overshadowed by the BBC interview.