Feeds

Tottenham MP calls for BlackBerry Messenging suspension

Twitter campaign to shut down rival

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.