Feeds

RIM to turn in BlackBerry-using looters after London riots

Empathetic RIM plans to help police

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

BlackBerry UK has broken silence over the role its devices played in helping disaffected London yoof co-ordinate riots in Tottenham, Brixton, Enfield and Walthamstow this weekend.

The smash 'n' burn attacks on High Street stores and vehicles on Saturday and yesterday came days after the death of Mark Duggan, who was killed in an alleged shoot out with police.

But unlike the Arab spring protests, which used the very public social media forums Facebook and Twitter to rally the troops, BlackBerry's version of IM was the favoured mode in the capital according to anecdotal evidence.

BlackBerry UK – the official Twitter account for the troubled smartphone maker RIM – made a move away from dishing out technical advice to users.

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

Catching the fire-starters retrospectively is possible as RIM can pass over decrypted versions of BBM chatter.

The reasons the kids love BBM is that it's cheap, quick and confidential. Oh and it has the backing of JayZ, the hip hop mogul who is one of BlackBerry's biggest fans.

Ofcom's annual report found 37 per cent of UK teenagers said that BlackBerry was their primary means of communication - a big turnaround for a technology seen recently as the most corporate of handsets and services.

Why the sneaker-wearing arsonists needed BBM, Twitter or anything else to co-ordinate the attacks is anyone's guess, as the police helicopters hovering over Brixton for hours on Sunday night were a tell-tale sign that trouble had spread from north of the river. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.