back to article RIM to turn in BlackBerry-using looters after London riots

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 …

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Can you get BBM for the iPhone?

I thought that everyone and their dog was using an iPhone nowadays?

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No you can't

Blackberry is the market leader in the pre-pay market. You can get one in Carphone Warehouse for £120 + a £10 top-up, or + £20 top-up if you pay cash. For a cash-strapped teen, that compares very favourably with £428 for the cheapest iPhone, and a Blackberry keyboard is better for texting anyway.

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Facepalm

Soon...

Apple have just invented a new magical method of messaging known as iMessage, that is totally revolutionary and unique, nothing like BBM! Wont be long before all the kids are using that instead...

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Boffin

BB vs. iOS

AIUI, better than a third of the youth in England use BB devices, the largest market penetration of any smart phone. Year-on-year, sales of BB devices in England are up slightly (up from 19.4% to 22.3%), but sales of iOS devices are down significantly (down from 30.6% to 18.3%)

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I think I should have used the joke icon.

I was commenting on the "iPhone beats Android+Nokia+RIM+everyone else!!!!" adverts that seem to pass for news in the tech press.

(I point you to pretty-much any previous post I've made about Apple as proof I was joking.)

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Happy

But you were partly right.

My dog uses an iPhone.

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Anonymous Coward

You're a little out of touch.....

iPhone is for 30-something metrosexuals. That's their demographics.

Under 18s wouldn't touch an iPhone - its viewed as being about as uncool as its possible to be.

The only people my kids know who have iPhones got them as a "surprise" from their parents - and its a most unwelcome surprise these days. Android is the phone OS of choice for most of them now due to the variety of handsets - the Blackberry has reached the "everyone has them" stage of unpopularity and is definitely on the decline in the teenage market.

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Happy

Not all khaki-wearing Dilberts!

If you met my obnoxious 28 stone, Sun reading, Jesus phone using brother-in-law and his wife, you'd drop all that Apple equates to metrosexual bollocks in a flash!

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Anonymous Coward

Sad git

Wishful thinking based on pub chatter. Just open your eyes if you ever get out of the pub or away from your screen full of errors.

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Happy

iPhone overrated, BB's death exaggerated

I've seen this as well; as much as the followers of the Cult of Jobs claim that the iPhone is taking over the smartphone and gaming markets, I see an ever-increasing number of Blackberries among the yoof. BBM is the new MSN Messenger for a good number of people, despite WhatsApp's rise.

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Backdoors

Who needs the back door when Apple barely closes the front door.

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Flame

BlackBerry as Big Brother's Nark

I guess we'll see how the yoof of today respond to snitches, grasses and those who go 'running to the filth' to dob them in.

I can understand BlackBerry wanting to extricate themselves from the tabloid blame for their part in this mess but I am sure they could have done better than announcing they are the police's bestest friends.

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Alien

Narks? Only a problem if there are more than 20. 20 big ones.

Weren't they the villains from the Bananaman cartoons?

Nasty, but I don't think they caused him any serious problems.

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FFS

thats all

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Happy

Blackberry

Do say in there terms and conditions 'Except where we are required by law to disclose personal information'. Given what has happened in the last couple of days, it would be difficult to imagine the law not requiring access to BBM messages.

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Mushroom

Re: BlackBerry as Big Brother's Nark

I have news for you.

Not turning in the bunch of vile scrotes who burned some poor bastard's business down does not make you cool.

It just makes you yet another pathetic little cunt amongst all the others.

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Unhappy

Ah

So you're the one who either looks away from the crime or the person needing help right in front of you or, perhaps, even puts your own boot in for good measure, while joining in the looting.

You must be unaware that it is every citizen's duty to help to prevent and detect crime, even those who work for international companies.

Ugh, what a horrible person you must be.

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@TeeCee

Nicely put, sir. Even the language is justified here as it's all these scrotes understand.

There's a world of difference between standing up for the rights of the individual and out-and-out criminality. What started out as something I might just understand protesting over (the death of an individual at the hands of the police) has now turned into just another excuse to behave like idiots, destroying other people's property and livelihoods.

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Black Helicopters

And here was me thinking...

I thought RIM were so adamant about their stuff being secure that they wouldn't turn anything over to the authorities?

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Understanding fail

RIM (like all other providers of telecoms services and hardware) have always complied with local regulation wherever possible. In the past, RIM have pointed out (to some rather backward politicians) that where the services are provided by a third party (such as an organisation running their own BES), they are powerless to do so.

So, all the crue need do is to set up their own BES* and the authorities would be relatively helpless. Of course, it would be much easier to set up your own encrypted bulletin system, and I haven't seen much sign of that so far.

* somewhere offshore where it can't be physically accessible.

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Devil

Adamant if you have your own server

It is bombproof for corporate use where a corp runs its own BES.

In the case of services provided on a non-corporate basis it is as secure as the servers providing the services. These are hosted in-country and subject to normal legal intercept requirements.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

"I thought RIM were so adamant about their stuff being secure that they wouldn't turn anything over to the authorities?"

No. Blackberry have always and will always help the authorities wherever it's legally required for them to do so. They haven't been compliant in the past where governments have wanted data without appropriate warrants etc.

Oh yeah - also if you were to run your own encrypted bb server then that's another matter.

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re: And here was me thinking

So you see no moral difference between oppressive middle-eastern regimes, and the need to stop hoodies destroying our high streets?

I think the most terrible affliction is to have enough intelligence to speak and feel shame, but not enough intelligence to immediately realise you're speaking complete and utter shit, and making an utter tit of yourself. Have a slap.

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required

I'd be surprised if blackberry just handed over data of arbitrary users without asking the police to get a court order or whatever first, there would have to be burden of proof that someone was implicated before this would be allowed. It'd be a PR disaster for the firm, imagine if a mobile phone company said they would hand every SMS sent at a certain time via their network to the authorities.

My guess is journos are reading too much into that tweet, and a PR guy at blackberry is getting a severe telling off for giving people the wrong end of the stick

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Happy

Reality

I would be surprised if there were not conversations going on along the lines off..

"We will not hand over personal data without a court order, we have to protect our customers confidentially.....but if you just happen to ask for this bit on info on this list of numbers, and ask the court in this manner, we may find ourselves in a position where our arguments against the court order are limited and ineffectual. Wink. Good Luck ".

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Anonymous Coward

scumbags

Don't even try to defend the rioters. Most of which are feral youths looking for violence and the odd 3D LCD TV. I'm glad RIM are doing this and they have went up in my estimation by doing so.

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So what you're saying is...

...that you're happy with an unaccountable private company being the arbiter of whether your private communications should be turned over to law enforcement authorities?

Hey, I guess you use gmail too!

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@AdamWill

So, by your definition, an "accountable" company would ensure that the rioters were never brought to justice. God, I'd hate to live in the world you live in.

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No...

In this case, I'd more compare it to the priest at the confessional hearing the confessions of the yoof, which includes snippets such as "yeah, and we're gonna go do it some more tomorrow night while totally piss drunk!", and referring them to the police. This is wanton destruction and looting, a totally different animal from civil disobedience and protesting for one's civic rights.

Go on, off with you now.

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Facepalm

Well..

Whilst doing is is good and I fully support there actions, talking about it and using it as self PR has to be IMHO one of the most stupid and selfish actions ever achieved.

I know RIM wish to reduce its headcount but again IMHO I find the aspect of putting your staff again angry mobs who you have publicly upset and by definition are not the brightest of people ever, is somewhat of badly thought out redundancy plan.

I'd go as far as saying if that even a single RIM employee gets so much as sworn at over this that the RIM spark who put this out should be up on attempted murder as it only serves to tell the educated what they already know and the stupid who funnily enough tend to also be rioters information they already did not know. So in one blow you end up setting your staff as targets and endangoring there lives and on the other you reduce the level of intel available becasue you have told them. Did Britain tell Germany lalalal we broke all your codes during the war - no they did not, so why oh why . Even though your desperate for positive PR do you do something as badly thought out as doing a PR statement like this. Discraceful and not the done thing when it comes to reducing staff counts, but we both know you have no concept of legal laws when it comes to staff.

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@DryBones: Pay attention

Did you bother to read the article? Breaking into cars, destroying storefronts, and looting is not what I would call "...civil disobedience and protesting for one's civic rights".

If they were peacefully protesting on the side of the street, well then, who gives a shit. But, crimes committed during a protest are still... crimes.

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No.

No. Due legal process, under properly constituted authority, would bring people who break the law to justice. If this involves requesting data which would usually be confidential from other parties, again under due process, then fine.

But the idea that a company which is privy to extremely personal and private communications of all kinds, under both explicit and implicit conditions of confidentiality, would arrogate the administration of justice to itself, under its own terms, for the apparent end of nothing but good publicity, is a very very worrying one.

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Anonymous Coward

What makes you think it's only for good publicity?

Has it even crossed your mind that maybe they care about what happened? Also, I don't agree that they believed it would bring them "good publicity". Just look at all the people on this forum who have been upset by RIM's actions. I'm sure they anticipated a mixed response.

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Big Brother

Whoa, hang on a minute

This is a good bit of headline-grabbing publicity, but a very bad precedent.

Who appointed RIM a quasi-judicial organisation? What gives them the right to decide when privacy is disposable?

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Hey Bobby Baby...

"What gives them the right to decide when privacy is disposable?"

How about when CRIMES are committed? That good enough for you?

And I would bet anything that if it was YOUR shop that was looted...or YOUR car that was torched...you'd be on RIM's bandwagon in a heartbeat.

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When there is a crime, get a subpoena

If RIM is handing over customer data without ANY due process, then you can rest assured that I will consider them a branch of the intelligence services from this day forward. It doesn't matter if my shop is looted or my car torched - due process is due process, and shouldn't be thrown away just because it is inconvenient.

HOWEVER, since crimes were clearly committed on a wide scale, it shouldn't be hard for the police to get a subpoena for this data. Very few reasonable people would suggest that RIM should challenge such a subpoena. In fact, if I were in RIM's position, I'd have the data ready to go, all burnt to DVD/however the police prefer it so when the nice officer showed up with the proper paperwork I could hand him what he needs right then and there.

-d

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Facepalm

Hey car driver guy, wonderful underbelly argument there.

You're right that it's not very nice what the looters did. However, that's not the point.

There promptly were allegations RIM's devices were involved somehow. This may or may not be the case but it stung RIM who now try their level best not to look bad. Understandable.

What Robert says, however, is that if RIM goes spitting in the data they have without more reason than the news and moreover without the proper legal paperwork, they're appointing themselves police powers. And that is something you, if you manage to calm down for long enough, ought to look twice at and wonder just what that is going to mean.

I don't want to get innocently raided at oh-dark-thirty by a swat squad because I came up as collateral damage in my telco's routine anti-badness datamining. That's not their job. Neither is it the job of, say, my bank, who already have to keep painfully invasive tabs on me just to check I'm not laundering terrorist money or something. Meaning that notion of big businesses policing their customers pre-emptively and pro-actively is far too popular with governments already.

The mere fact CRIMES were committed does not in itself make a case to make RIM another COP. I'm not about to open a car shop and have it looted and torched just so I can repeat this message. All I hope for those who've had that happen to them is that they were well-insured because even managing to bring the peeps that did all that before the beak won't pay for all the damages.

So, yes, Robert does absolutely have a point. You have an ill-voiced point that anything that helps bring the rioters to justice would help there, but I'll remind you we deliberately hobble the police to try and keep the innocent out of it on top of only giving the police those police powers. We do that for a reason and that reason remains valid. So be careful what you ask for. It might cost us everyone's privacy for not much gain us of anything, and we have so little left already.

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Go

Err...

I would say, their Terms of Service? Privacy Policy? The contact you're in with them?

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Flame

"when CRIMES are committed? That good enough for you?"

No, as a matter of fact, it is not good enough.

I'd much prefer that the plod produce evidence before a judge that they have a reasonable suspicion that a specific series of individuals were responsible before RIM released that information.

"And I would bet anything that if it was YOUR shop that was looted...or YOUR car that was torched ...". I'll take that bet. I would be ringing my insurance agent's office and the police, but not calling on RIM to parce messenger data before being ordered to by a court under a legal warrant.

Indeed, if I were one of the people who had my data released to the police, I would be in my solicitor's office going over said telco's privacy policy for actionable violations.

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Facepalm

Investigated != accused != guilty

The issue is not whether it's good for the LOOTER to get his information sent to the police. The problem is that as neither RIM nor the police know which BB customers are looters, they must necessarily pass on the communications of a great many people who are entirely INNOCENT. That's the issue.

There's no such thing as 'privacy, except if you're a criminal'. If we could do that, we wouldn't need courts to figure out who the criminals are!

In addition, arguing that using means N of combating crime must be OK because crime N was very bad is a fallacy. Locking up everyone under 30 in London and torturing them until they admitted to being looters would result in a great many convictions, and maybe it would make some victims feel better - but it wouldn't be just.

I see this style of reasoning a lot here in the US - a good example is that protecting the rights of the accused is offensive to victims, going on the assumption that everyone who is accused is guilty. So, if an innocent person is released for lack of evidence, there will be outrage at criminals being treated well, and how must the victim's family feel, etc.

Don't assume that everyone being investigated is guilty, lest someday the police misinterpret a sarcastic text message, haul you off to jail, and then release you into an angry mob of people yelling, "You torched our shop!"

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FAIL

Of course the police will have a warrant by now.

Seriously, is everyone here daft? In a situation this obviously serious it will have taken them about half an hour to find a suitable judge or magistrate and convince them to sign off on an interception warrant.

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@Daniel

Wish I could upvote you more than once.

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Big Brother

great idea!

Yeah! Let's get 'em! And when we're done with that, we'll get these lesser criminals, and then some lesser ones. Know what? let's just pass all communications through our local police offices for moderation. That'll stop crime and make it a lovely polite world to live in.

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Anonymous Coward

Access to the CrackBerry feed

Kids use BBM because it's cheap.

This 'story' has erupted at just the right time for the government to 'ask' RM for access to their encrypted data stream in the same way as the Saudi and Indian governments.

Presumably someone will come up with an encrypted twitter (using PGP) in the next day or so.

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FAIL

RIMs feed only.

no, this is completely different from the Indian situation. RIM was asked for the traffic going through servers they control, they complied.

India is mad because RIM says they can't give access to data going through servers they DON'T control. If the Plod in the UK asked RIM for the traffic transversing one the BESes I operate RIM would say they can't give it. This is not because they don't want to, it's because they are incapable.

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Paris Hilton

BB! coming soon to a TV/phone near you

I am referring to that abomination call Big Brother. Aimed right at the BB owning teenager.

As a grumpy old man (and proud of it) I won't be tuning in even if there is a bit of nudity etc. The saddos who go on shows like this should be locked up and the key thrown away. Then without them knowing it, the camera are turned off leaving them to BB themselves.

Paris coz even she'd... Oh never mind she might.

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scumbags 2

I second that.

P.

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@And here was me thinking...

The data is completely secure from eavesdropping - it just requires that RIM hand it over to the authorities - something that they would never do for the regimes in India, Dubai etc.

But of course standard procedure in free countries like the UK, USA, Canada

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