BlackBerry offers "assistance" to London riot police
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 8 Aug 2011 at 16:49
BlackBerry has raised eyebrows with a statement saying it was helping police following reports rioters were favouring its messaging system.
The BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service is popular among teenagers in the UK, with a recent report by Ofcom saying BlackBerry handsets were the most common among younger users.
Unconfirmed reports have claimed rioters and looters have used BBM to alert others where to go, but its unclear exactly how much BlackBerrys, other handsets or social networks are actually being used.
The UAE has threatened to ban RIM's BlackBerry because of its secure networks. In Egypt, the internet was shut down during protests, and Vodafone said it was "forced" to send pro-Government text messages.
Against that background, BlackBerry in the UK posted two lines on Twitter, saying it was working with police regarding the riots.
"We feel for those impacted by this weekend's riots in London," it said. "We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can."
Asked for additional comment, RIM only added that it normally works with police. "As in all markets around the world where BlackBerry is available, we cooperate with local telecommunications operators, law enforcement and regulatory officials. Similar to other technology providers in the UK we comply with The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and cooperate fully with the Home Office and UK police forces."
If under court order, any firm can be required to hand over data, but it's unclear why RIM felt the need to announce it, or if the police have indeed requested any assistance. RIM has reportedly said it has no plans to shut down the BBM service.
RIM had nothing else to add at the time of publishing, and we were unable to reach the Metropolitan Police's press office.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police has warned it will target social-networking users who "incite" violence.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh said messages posted on Twitter had been "really inflammatory" and "inaccurate", according to a report in The Independent.
Kavanagh said the police would "absolutely" arrest anyone inciting violence via the social-networking site. "That investigation is already under way and that is exactly the sort of thing we are looking at," he said.
Is your business a social business? For helpful info and tips visit our hub.
Hmmm we live in such modern times
..rioters allegedly using BlackBerry`s- welcome to 2011, I bet those in riots in 1981 wish they had these!
By DeanC on 8 Aug 2011
Odd that they are not iPhone addicts like Apple's marketing dept would have you believe.
Though BB are certainly not looking after their own future by tell telling on their owners activities!
By nicomo on 8 Aug 2011
"I bet those in riots in 1981 wish they had these!"
And grammar checkers as well ??
By rjp2000 on 8 Aug 2011
I don't think it does the BB brand any favours to be known as the hoodie looter's choice! Maybe that's why they are publicising their cooperation with the police.
By rjp2000 on 8 Aug 2011
"Odd that they are not iPhone addicts..."
Large number of the young people on a course I attended recently had BB's. When asked why? they answered they (BB's) were usually free with most contracts! but when asked what Smartphone would they like? they answered an iPhone or a Galaxy S... Worryingly,they were all long term unemployed...
By 738205 on 9 Aug 2011
Shows how out of touch I am. I had always associated Blackberry pretty well exclusively with offices. I had therefore imagined that the riots were exclusively caused by bankers so upset that their bonuses were only a million pounds or so this year that they felt the need to go and steal an under-powered laptop and a pair of trainers.
By bradype on 9 Aug 2011
- Windows 8.2: release date, features and free cloud version
- iPad sales stall as owners "too happy to upgrade"
- iPhone 6 release date, rumours, specs and features: when will the iPhone 6 come out in the UK?
- Killing the Surface Mini hit revenues, Microsoft reveals
- Amazon posts another loss - its biggest since 2012
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- Meet the robots helping teach children
- PaperLater: would you pay to print the internet?
- Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?
- Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy
- Raspberry Pi and Wolfram: a must-have for every child
- Could you get by with Office Web Apps?