Research In Motion: We will co-operate with London police

Research In Motion, the company behind the BlackBerry range of mobile devices, has offered assistance to British authorities via its Twitter account. International media has made note of the widespread use of BlackBerry Messenger to communicate and coordinate attacks in the London riots, and the ability to instantaneously transmit messages for free has proved to be a key weapon in the ongoing violence.

The British division of RIM, speaking on its Twitter account, stated:

We feel for those impacted by the riots in London. We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can.

The Guardian's Paul Lewis, who has been reporting on scenes from around London, has received samples of messages being circulated by rioters. One of them reads:

Everyone in edmonton enfield woodgreen everywhere in north link up at enfield town station 4 o clock sharp!!!! Start leaving ur yards n linking up with you niggas. Guck da feds, bring your ballys and your bags trollys, cars vans, hammers the lot!! Keep sending this around to bare man, make sure no snitch boys get dis!!! What ever ends your from put your ballys on link up and cause havic, just rob everything. Police can't stop it. Dead the fires though!! Rebroadcast!!!!!

Civil unrest has gripped the capital since the death of Mark Duggan sparked a wave of antisocial behaviour. What began initially as a peaceful protest turned violent three days ago, and has begun to spread outside London to cities such as Birmingham, Nottingham, and Bristol. British news outlets have cited Facebook and Twitter as other means of spreading messages, but the companies have yet to make a statement on their role in investigations.

The move by RIM will not be the first time the company has attempted to cooperate with local authorities. In August last year, RIM came to an agreement with the Saudi Arabian government, giving them access to BlackBerry Messages. The move stopped Saudi Arabia from blocking the device from being sold in the country. Similar negotiations have been made with India and the United Arab Emirates.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

SteelSeries reveals new World of Warcraft PC mouse

Next Story

Study: Windows 7 to be on 42 percent of PCs by end of 2011

43 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

This rioting is stupid, childish and immature. Destroying businesses to get at the police and Government won't solve anything. These looters are nothing but scum, chavs with no education, caring parents, or even a purpose in life.

They're rioting in my home city of Manchester now, if anyone touches my PC repair business, I'm borrowing Niko Bellic's rocket launcher, following these chav ******* home and destroying everything they "own" (ahem, stole!). They wouldn't like their lives being burned to the ground, would they?

Isn't BBM supposed to be secure? (I don't know much about Blackberries so don't mind me if I'm wrong).

If they allow open access to it for this it means it's not quite as secure as we were told

Commenters here are idiots. The police have to apply for information from RIM on an individual basis - which means first identifying who they are. They won't scour for all of the information sent via BBM in London over the past three days. They'll only trace you if they want you for something.

what said,
Commenters here are idiots. The police have to apply for information from RIM on an individual basis - which means first identifying who they are. They won't scour for all of the information sent via BBM in London over the past three days. They'll only trace you if they want you for something.

Precisely. There still needs to be due process from the proper legal authorities. Otherwise, the users can sue RIM and win.

I could be wrong here, but RIM own your BBM's, don't they? They are within their right to search through them if they deem it necessary?

If that is the case, then what is there to stop them finding the particular messages and offering them to the Police, especially given that the content of the messages (as shown in the article above) involves a discussion of illegal activity?

Intrinsica said,
I could be wrong here, but RIM own your BBM's, don't they? They are within their right to search through them if they deem it necessary?

If that is the case, then what is there to stop them finding the particular messages and offering them to the Police, especially given that the content of the messages (as shown in the article above) involves a discussion of illegal activity?

That isn't their policy, though.

what said,
That isn't their policy, though.
But isn't that the point of this article? RIM are saying that they are happy to change their policy and do this if it can help the Police?

SpyderCanopus said,
Way to destroy what is left of your customer loyalty. RIM? More like RIP.

Yeah how dare they cooperate with the police in trying to bring these looting arsonist thugs to justice. How DARE they!

/sarcasm

Meh, looters should be shot on sight, rioters simply contained. You break societies laws you loose your rights within that society (like freedom and privacy). UK has a functioning democracy and a free press (even after Murdoch got his hands on them) so there's no need to loot or riot to get your "point" across.

Poms are just too nice. Other countries send in the tanks or lay siege to cites. THEN the rioters would have something to cry about.

Well done RIM btw. Still think this is a profit / market protecting move ... they would have been asked / writed for the data anyways.

knighthawktfc said,

^This^ Problem will self correct quickly after a few scum are shot.

and thats why the seed of violence, hate and war will never disappear, because its easier to dominate, kill and destroy. prove who its stronger

Ive still never understood the mentality of rioters. Were angry at what the police did so lets destroy our very city, cause lots of damage to others that are not involved just to send a message

Do you think a stern "No, we don't like you police" would work?

I can guarantee you now they have to take at what's happening or it'll eventually get worse.

daPhoenix said,
Do you think a stern "No, we don't like you police" would work?

I can guarantee you now they have to take at what's happening or it'll eventually get worse.


There is no message here; these rioters and looters do not care what the police did, they don't care how the country is being run and they have no opinions, they are simply groups of unintelligent thugs who have seized the opportunity to go on a rampage of destruction and stealing for their own personal gain. I have heard of parents taking their young children to looting sites and pointing them in the direction of where to pick up valuables from to bring back to the car; does that sound like the actions of people who have something to say to the rest of us? Because if your answer to that question is "yes" then you have some serious re-evaluation to do.

I agree with this. If they have the ability to see who is taking part I say go for it. You lost your civil liberties once you started torching and looting.

If people use their freedom like this, it deserves to be taken away from them. They are a hazard to themselves, others, and civilised society in general.

Intrinsica said,
If people use their freedom like this, it deserves to be taken away from them. They are a hazard to themselves, others, and civilised society in general.

no

chago12 said,
no
Just "no?" Care to explain why? After all, if a man turns to theft he gets arrested and sent to prison. Why should these rioters be any different?

Intrinsica said,
Just "no?" Care to explain why? After all, if a man turns to theft he gets arrested and sent to prison. Why should these rioters be any different?

Not everyone in London is rioting, passing a knee jerk law to "prevent" this from occurring again would a) violate the innocent and b) not work

The riots are already illegal, there is no need to create more laws that just serve to put the populace under further watch

Ah, I think we've got our wires crossed here. I was arguing with the idea that MS Lose32 thinks that RIM offering these messages to the police is some form of violation of freedom, and that it's only a few steps away from such things as the TSA and the Patriot Act.

My point was merely that if this step (offering the police the messages to help them catch the instigators) is considered a loss of freedom, then people should be expected to lose it when they behave in such a way. I have absolutely no support for the TSA or the Patriot Act.

Intrinsica said,
If people use their freedom like this, it deserves to be taken away from them. They are a hazard to themselves, others, and civilised society in general.

I must agree with the comment to this, no. basically what your saying is that if people become unsatisfied with how their government is governing them then they need to take it cause they are basically slaves to their government. If this was the case we would still be living under Kings and Queens and anyone against the throne would be at the guillotine.

Rioting isn't always the best thing to do, but to get a message across to high authorities sometimes it is the only thing to get a point across. The bigger the riot shows that more than just a select few feel the same way and that the government should step in to address the situation that caused the riot in the first place. If the government refuses, well then people, businesses, ect. get hurt and damaged.

Kutster said,

I must agree with the comment to this, no. basically what your saying is that if people become unsatisfied with how their government is governing them then they need to take it cause they are basically slaves to their government. If this was the case we would still be living under Kings and Queens and anyone against the throne would be at the guillotine.

Rioting isn't always the best thing to do, but to get a message across to high authorities sometimes it is the only thing to get a point across. The bigger the riot shows that more than just a select few feel the same way and that the government should step in to address the situation that caused the riot in the first place. If the government refuses, well then people, businesses, ect. get hurt and damaged.

And if you choose to send a message by stealing from legitimate businesses and harming people, society will send a message to you that it is unacceptable.

Intrinsica said,
Ah, I think we've got our wires crossed here. I was arguing with the idea that MS Lose32 thinks that RIM offering these messages to the police is some form of violation of freedom, and that it's only a few steps away from such things as the TSA and the Patriot Act.

My point was merely that if this step (offering the police the messages to help them catch the instigators) is considered a loss of freedom, then people should be expected to lose it when they behave in such a way. I have absolutely no support for the TSA or the Patriot Act.

I think we are in agreement then

Kutster said,

I must agree with the comment to this, no. basically what your saying is that if people become unsatisfied with how their government is governing them then they need to take it cause they are basically slaves to their government. If this was the case we would still be living under Kings and Queens and anyone against the throne would be at the guillotine.

Rioting isn't always the best thing to do, but to get a message across to high authorities sometimes it is the only thing to get a point across. The bigger the riot shows that more than just a select few feel the same way and that the government should step in to address the situation that caused the riot in the first place. If the government refuses, well then people, businesses, ect. get hurt and damaged.

You don't damage other people's property...you damage government buildings, you hamper government activities, you DO NOT attack other civilians.

Kutster said,

I must agree with the comment to this, no. basically what your saying is that if people become unsatisfied with how their government is governing them then they need to take it cause they are basically slaves to their government. If this was the case we would still be living under Kings and Queens and anyone against the throne would be at the guillotine.

Rioting isn't always the best thing to do, but to get a message across to high authorities sometimes it is the only thing to get a point across. The bigger the riot shows that more than just a select few feel the same way and that the government should step in to address the situation that caused the riot in the first place. If the government refuses, well then people, businesses, ect. get hurt and damaged.

You don't damage other people's property...you damage government buildings, you hamper government activities, you DO NOT attack other civilians.

Wow, pretty scary message when you actually read it. To be honest, what is this going to solve, they are only trashing their own area at the end of the day.

yeoo_andy_ni said,
Wow, pretty scary message when you actually read it. To be honest, what is this going to solve, they are only trashing their own area at the end of the day.

It will help the police track down and prosecute the major instigators of the riot. Many of them targeted specific stores outside their own areas so it's not just where they live that's suffered.

mounty said,
It will help the police track down and prosecute the major instigators of the riot. Many of them targeted specific stores outside their own areas so it's not just where they live that's suffered.
I think he meant, "what is the rioting going to solve" rather than "what is this gesture from RIM going to solve."

Everyone in edmonton enfield woodgreen everywhere in north link up at enfield town station 4 o clock sharp!!!! Start leaving ur yards n linking up with you << racial epithet >>s. Guck da feds, bring your ballys and your bags trollys, cars vans, hammers the lot!! Keep sending this around to bare man, make sure no snitch boys get dis!!! What ever ends your from put your ballys on link up and cause havic, just rob everything. Police can't stop it. Dead the fires though!! Rebroadcast!!!!!

That shows the level of inteligence of these rioters. This has gone on long enough, get the army in. Stop the violence, then work on a fix.

Xerax said,
That shows the level of inteligence of these rioters.
My head started to hurt as I was reading that message.

What sort of pidgin was that written in? I thought it was only here in America that we had such stupid, communicationally-challenged trash.

Skwerl said,
What sort of pidgin was that written in? I thought it was only here in America that we had such stupid, communicationally-challenged trash.

Nope, we have plenty of them over hear as well