Feeds

Tottenham MP calls for BlackBerry Messenging suspension

Twitter campaign to shut down rival

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.