Feeds

Tottenham MP calls for BlackBerry Messenging suspension

Twitter campaign to shut down rival

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Tottenham MP David Lammy has called on RIM to shut down its BlackBerry Messenger service overnight, to prevent rioters using the closed network to coordinate gatherings.

Speaking on 5Live, Lammy claimed that the messaging service was "one of reasons why unsophisticated criminals are outfoxing an otherwise sophisticated police force", and asked RIM to take it down temporarily – mirroring a Twitter campaign propagated with the tag #blockbbm.

BlackBerry Messenger is popular with the youth demographic which has been making such a mess of city centres over the last few evenings, and is less public than Twitter for those wanting to spread their message surreptitiously.

Not that BBM is secure as such – the police certainly have access to messages sent over it – but David Lammy argues that it is slower to intercept than Twitter or similar, and thus it would be worth shutting it down for a few hours to make life harder for those looking for a place to riot.

The role of BBM in the riots is still contested, with some pointing out that police helicopters are attracting more looters than instant messaging, and there's an argument that having a network which criminals (inaccurately) think is secure is actually helpful for those trying to catch them.

It's also a decision that RIM will have to make: shutting down a private communications network isn't something the UK government has the power to do. In an emergency it can take over the network, and it can certainly ask politely with considerable conviction, but ultimately the decision will be RIM's. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.