Police officers who are investigating the the riots in London will be able to track down and arrest those who are responsible based on their BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) conversations with those who took part.
BlackBerry owners who used the social network to send messages and plan the unrest, could find their personal data, including their names and those they contacted, handed over to authorities as part of the investigation.
Research in Motion, makers of the BlackBerry device and software, said they will cooperate with the authorities following claims that the BBM played an important role in organizing the violence.
The media has claimed that like in Egypt, rioters used BBM and Twitter to plan their activities. But unlike in Egypt, the UK is not ruled by an aristocratic government who are out of touch with the people’s needs. This means that the rioters are merely thugs, not “freedom fighters.”
One BBM message that said, “Everyone from all sides of London meet up at the heart of London (central) OXFORD CIRCUS!!, Bare SHOPS are gonna get smashed up so come get some (free stuff!!!) f-@! the feds we will send them back with OUR riot! >:O Dead the ends and colour war for now so if you see a brother… SALUT! if you see a fed… SHOOT!”
The only way that RIM can do that is by providing authorities with decrypted messages from the company’s servers and identify the users.
Finally, some sort of justice will come from the information companies hold on phone users – a positive use for private data harvesting has been found. At this stage it’s unclear whether the information was offered voluntarily or was taken under a search warrant. RIM has yet to comment, do you think this information should be used to discover the culprits of the recent riots?