Secusmart boss expects Germany to approve sale to BlackBerry

BERLIN, July 31 Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:19am EDT

BERLIN, July 31 (Reuters) - The German government will not raise any objections to BlackBerry's planned acquisition of Secusmart, whose encryption technology protects the devices of government officials including Angela Merkel, the head of the company said.

"I am sure that there will be a positive decision after it has been looked at," Hans-Christoph Quelle, managing director of the privately-held German firm, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Germany's economy ministry said on Wednesday it would have to check whether German security would be affected by the planned sale, saying a decision would be made within a month as to whether a deeper investigation was needed.

Chancellor Merkel, whose mobile phone was reported to have been tapped by U.S. intelligence agents, has a BlackBerry mobile device with Secusmart encryption, as do many other members of the government.

Quelle said he was aware that the ministry would look at the sale according to the laws which regulate foreign deals.

But he said a sale of Secusmart would not compromise German security interests.

"Nothing changes the security of the 'Merkel phone' and the telephones supplied to the government," added Quelle.

"All the secrets are only in the micro-SD (card).. which the BSI Federal Office for Information Security has developed and supplied to us," he said. "Neither Secusmart nor BlackBerry has access to that."

BlackBerry is trying to reinvent itself under its new Chief Executive John Chen and wants to buy Secusmart to improve its track record with highly security-conscious clients like government agencies. (Writing by Madeline Chambers; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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