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London rioters plan on Blackberries as RIM speaks to police

By Leo King
August 9, 2011 12:29 PM ET

Computerworld UK - Blackberry manufacturer Research In Motion has promised to work closely with police after claims that rioters who spread destruction across London, Birmingham and Liverpool Monday night night used their Blackberry devices to co-ordinate action.

Riots hit Hackney, Peckham, Clapham, Croydon, Ealing and other areas, after action in Tottenham and Brixton at the weekend. The violence initially began after a man, allegedly carrying a gun, was shot dead by police.

A giant Sony warehouse in Enfield, the company's main UK distribution centre for the CD and DVD products, was set on fire.

London's Metropolitan Police have vowed to track down people who posted "inflammatory" messages on the BlackBerry Messenger network, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.

Patrick Spence, the managing director of regional marketing are RIM said: "We feel for those impacted by the riots in London. We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can."

Blackberry devices have, in recent years proved almost as popular among young people as among the business community, because of the low cost of the Blackberry Messaging service (BBM) compared to texts. Spence said that RIM will comply with laws on the interception of communication as required by police.

While BlackBerry Messenger messages are typically encrypted, RIM can still be compelled to hand over user information to the police.

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This article is reprinted by permission from Copyright (c) 2012 Computerworld UK. All rights reserved.
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