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 …


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  1. Cameron Colley

    Can you get BBM for the iPhone?

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

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      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.

    2. alexh2o


      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...

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Lance 3


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

    4. Anonymous Coward

      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%)

    5. Cameron Colley

      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.)

      1. nyelvmark

        But you were partly right.

        My dog uses an iPhone.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        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.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        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!

    7. Daniel B.

      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.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    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.

    1. Naughtyhorse


      thats all

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      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.

      1. Chronos
        Thumb Up


        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.

    3. Anonymous Coward


      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.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    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?

    1. Chris Miller

      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.

    2. Anton Ivanov

      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.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "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.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      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.

  4. ttuk


    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

    1. peter 45


      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 ".

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    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.

    1. AdamWill

      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!

      1. A handle is required


        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.

        1. AdamWill


          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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.

      2. DryBones
        Thumb Down


        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          @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.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      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.

  6. Robert E A Harvey
    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?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      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'd be on RIM's bandwagon in a heartbeat.

      1. Daniel 4

        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.


        1. Jason Hall


          Wish I could upvote you more than once.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          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.

      3. O RLY

        "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.

      4. Anonymous Coward

        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!"

      5. Anonymous Coward
        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.

    2. cmantito


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

  7. Anonymous Coward
    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.

    1. Oninoshiko

      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.

  8. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    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.

  9. Cyberelic

    scumbags 2

    I second that.


  10. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      all aboard the trollercoaster

      RIM have always said if they are served with the appropriate legal documents, and they have access to the BES server handling the messages they will hand over the data.

      In India and Dubai the governments seem to think that RIM haev access to unencrypted data from privately held corporate BES servers, in that case the govt should serve papers on the owning corporation.

      As an example my company has some of it's BES servers somewhere in the EU, so paperwork filed in India has no legs to stand on.

      AC cos risk management might get sniffy about me mentioing our BES servers

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RIM's conduct depends wholly upon whether...

    ...they got served or whether they volunteered the information.

    If the former...more power to them: rioting is naughty.

    If the latter, then that would be very bad indeed for the company 'selling on security' as they do.

    Of course, another explanation is that they got served, but are looking after their clients by broadcasting the fact, rather than let it be a total surprise to the individuals concerned. Without more information, RIM's conduct is moot.

    No sympathy with the rioters - anyone who enters a riot with a phone switched on is asking for it.

    1. Daniel 4

      Totally evil thought

      "No sympathy with the rioters - anyone who enters a riot with a phone switched on is asking for it."

      Let me correct that for you....

      "No sympathy with the rioters - anyone who enters a riot with THEIR OWN phone switched on is asking for it."

      Sorry, just had a thought for some really nasty mischief that could be done here... ;)


  12. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    But.. but.. the technology is always benevolent..

    I'm waiting for the usual suspects to start proclaiming the benefits of Twitter and mobile the same way they did after the pro-democracy risings in the Arab world.

    Tools. That's all they are. Techno-utopians, and communications networks. Tools.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Looks like....

    ...someone needs to port Off The Record to BBM, then the rioters will be plausibly deniable even after RIM's own encryption is stripped away. I suppose if you were clever it would be possible to create an app that did the OTR and then passed the resulting ciphertext into BBM for transmission.

  14. mark l 2 Silver badge

    BBM & imessage

    Why do we need proprietary message systems like BBM & imessage that are only available on one platform whats wrong with conventional SMS/MMS messaging that works with EVERY GSM phone?

    It bad enough that facebook is walling off a big part of the internet with there internal messaging system or skype that doesn't work with traditional SIP VIOP without even more proprietary messaging systems.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Erm... because sms messages cost a huge amount of money to use compared with the data necessary to be transmitted (unless you are on a contract).

      BB messaging is free if you have one of their clicky phones.

      That's why iOS are making their version - it's a good 'value' feature.

      1. mark l 2 Silver badge


        No one ever heard of email then, thats also free to send country to country, and ooh I can also send emails from my computer or none apple/rim phone

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No roaming

      Because BBM and iMessage are free country to country, unlike SMS which has roaming charges

  15. iamzippy

    What Goes Around

    All of this is orchestrated. It wiil come around, and heads will roll.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      errr... to elaborate?

  16. Blubster

    "disaffected London yoof "

    Disaffected my arse - they're just a bunch of fucking thieves.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      "Resentful and rebellious, especially against authority."

      Welcome to Generation Entitled.

      Same as Greece, I reckon.

      Keep your blunderbuss loaded!

    2. peter 45


      Disaffected, downtrodden, no jobs and forced to live in crime -ridden slums..........and their Mother didn't love them.

      And just think how much more disaffected they will be when they wake up and realise that they now live in a burnt out slum, with even less jobs, no shops and even more crime. Still, won't stop them blaming the Government, the police, the Job centre, their Social Worker......

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    By Gad Sirrah!

    We get a far better class of riots in the UK when the Conservatives are in power (or so it seems).

    Were there any major riots on par with these under the previous administration (Blair/Brown etc)?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Blair/Brown riots

      Not on this scale by far, but there were a series of riots in Rotherham 8 or 9 years ago, cant recall exactly, that went on in fits and starts for quite a while. And there were quite a few nights of rioting in Birmingham a couple of years ago, supposedly over asian men "grooming" black girls.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Brown & Blair

      As I would see it Tony and Gordon are in part responsible for, the economic circumstances and the excessively liberal policy that provides the justification for these rioters. This is more a case of having to clear up the mess left by the last lot.

  18. Flat Phillip

    Assisting the authorities

    The post doesn't actually say they will hand over anything without the required court orders etc. It doesn't make sense for them to do that because its pretty clear there was some sort of trouble in that area during that time so it should be relatively simple to get the required paperwork.

    To me it seems that RIM were saying they are going to do what they would have to legally do anyhow. I'm not sure how it is in the UK, but in Australia if the carrier encrypts something and they get the notice they have to give the unencrypted form. The simplest way to think of that is the GSM phone calls. I know they're not a carrier btw.

    If they were going to hand it over with no orders etc or just hand it over en-masse (e.g. all messages for everyone between the hours X and Y) then I can see a huge problem, but they didn't say that.

    Icon: Well the child have all got nice cheap 3D tellies now!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Have rubber bullets been replaced with Nerf equivalents?

    "You! Yes, you behind the bikesheds, stand still laddy!"

  20. Michael Thibault

    Due process?

    It's entirely possible that due process will prevail. Technically. That could well turn on only one BB-bearing individual being identified (from video, or photo, or credible witness)--after which the phone/message tree can be dug up whole and entire, for any 'reasonable' period of time before, during, and after specific events, either by repeated, specific requests for the relevant authority (or, more likely, a few followed by a request for blanket authority to follow the branches to the root). You don't communicate with the ether; you're contacting someone, and they are made 'interesting' by virtue of your having done so in the thick of a riot... Not obvious? If not 'guilt by association', then certainly 'suspect by association'.

    RIM, it seems, is just shaving a little time off the process by offering, up front, to be double-plus extra-cooperative.

    I want to know which of the little BBastards are the agents provocateurs.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

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

    I don't live in the UK. From my point of view, it looked like thugs trying to cause trouble and steal stuff, it still doesn't justify spying. If it was my business, I would say F the rubber bullets, there would be a pile of dead bodies at the storefront window threshold, e.g. you step in, you get tapped in the head. Keep in mind I am still allowed to have guns because that whole government false flag of selling guns to mexican drug lords flopped back in the corrupt government's face. For now 2nd amendment is safe, but there are forces trying to steal it.

    I have to call the RIM turning nark "when CRIMES are committed" argument is either sarcasm or from someone working at RIM or government, crimes by the establishment every day are at their peak, and yet not one official has paid the piper due to RIM's so-called integrity. If anything, it's a conspiracy of corruption between RIM and government establishment, a situation that is unacceptable regardless of your country. While everyone else in the country has had most of their rights stolen in the past decade, not even one bankster has had his or her rights removed, or even reduced.. RIM does not monitor all government officials 24/7/365 seems to me that would get 100% more legitimate cases of fraud, treason, theft, and murder and false flag terrorism.

    RIM isn't the only one turned nark

    For those in the USA get in your officials faces now!

    The U.S. House of Representatives is currently considering H.R. 1981, a bill that would order all of our online service providers to keep new logs about our online activities to help the government identify the web sites we visit and the content we post online. Tell your Representative to oppose this sweeping new "mandatory data retention" proposal, which treats every Internet user like a potential criminal.

    Some ISP's are a lost cause and just tow the establishment line. But a few like mine only hold logs for two weeks. This horrid resolution wants to make it 12 months, and my ISP contacted me to help protect my OWN privacy. (I have a way cool ISP)

    If this passes this potentially makes everyone a criminal along with all the crap that strips every right you had left. I have worked at an ISP and I could have abused it. (I didn't, but I would also note that some ISP's are so stupid they hold logs for more than 4 years and are clueless that it's a threat, which is why you should probably ask them about it. This discussion needs to get going now, and we all need to get past the taboo and fear of discussing just why it's a problem)

    I am not sure at what point I pull the plug on the web, but there's certain things that will trigger it for me, and for infrastructure I support. If I pull the plug, others that depend on me lose their business, and so on and so on. But I apologize right now up front, I won't build infrastructure which spys on people without a warrant, I won't support infrastructure which enables the same currently.(e.g. let it break), there are also some lines (which I can't remember at the moment) about eBay and paypal which I won't allow to be crossed. As much as I love to shop for used music equipment, I really don't care if it means more slavery to the establishment.

    The trend I see for the future

    * boycott and blacklisting more and more governments, and fascist corporations

    * many having had enough pulling the plug for many reasons

    * exodus from snooping providers like AT&T, COMCAST (to either modem or offline)

    * possibility the web becomes useless as everyone who wants to buy goods or services has left after being fed upon too many times, and everyone who wants to sell has become dangerous spying scum doing the feeding.

    That's not to say there's not good people in both government, ISP's, and business, and ecommerce. I am not all doom and gloom, but it's sure trending that way now, and I tend to be very cautious of anything coming out of the mouth of anyone who speaks in official capacity, it usually only takes 2 weeks to 3 months for their lies to be exposed for the deception they are.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Heads, shoulders, knees and tows...

      Knees and tows.

      And Ize and erez and knoze and mowf.

      Hedd, soldiers, niese and tows, neez and tows.

      1. Naughtyhorse


        shame on you! it's bad enough him taking the short bus to highschool for 15 years.

        and new kbd pls

    2. Naughtyhorse

      you have a way cool ISP

      Real handy if you need to google, say 'ANFO', or get off on looking at pictures of little girs/boys/goats etc.

      "potentially makes everyone a criminal"

      no it makes criminals criminals.

      " usually only takes 2 weeks to 3 months for their lies to be exposed for the deception they are."

      lemmie guess... except for sarah palin.

      oh! and best of luck pulling the plug on the web BTW

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Classic gun nut

      You guys really need to get over the idea that property is more important than people. Because, if London was as awash with guns as the average American Wal-Mart, there would certainly be fewer burnt out buildings and a lot more dead people this morning.

      Stay safe in your paranoia, y'all.

      1. Dude_in_Grey

        RE: Classic gun nut

        I live in America in an area with relatively favorable laws toward gun ownership, however I heartily agree with you.

        Where I live, the 'Castle Doctrine' (locally nicknamed snidely 'make my day'), is written explicitly into local law. This explicitly justifies lethal force in some circumance in the defense of home and property, but in practice it is of no use in a Riot (and would probably not be viewed as an acceptable use of force, in any legal defense.)

        I could have the same day I could legal drink, bought a high-powered hand-cannon, filled it with armor piercing bullets, and gotten a permit so I could legally carry it concealed on my person. But it isn't going to keep me safe. It would just escalate any violence, and leave more human carnage.

      2. Oninoshiko

        Re: Classic gun nut

        "Because, if London was as awash with guns as the average American Wal-Mart, there would certainly be fewer burnt out buildings and a lot more dead people this morning."

        I think that was his point. Remind me, are you with him or against?

        You say "people" some of us say "arsonists, thieves, and murders." The first two are pretty obvious, the last... well, there will be a body count even with the UK's firearms policy. But, look at the bright-side, maybe all the wonton destruction will stimulate the economy </brokenwindowfallicy>

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    [Quote]Disaffected my arse - they're just a bunch of fucking thieves.[/Quote]

    Damn right - the lowest bunch of fuckwits on the streets.

    About time people grew some balls and deal with the little fuckers - if RIM want to do their little bit, good on them.

  23. Daggersedge

    Not disaffected yoof but CRIMINAL THUGS!

    'Disaffected London yoof': how politically correct. They are thugs, criminals, thieves, and arsonists. The UK government should bring in the army and shoot the lot. It's time for martial law.

    Oh, and RIM said it would co-operate fully with any request made under RIPA; the company is not just handing over data, so get real. What do you bleeding hearts want? For no-one to be able to do anything about the thugs looting and burning London and other places?

    Just one more step on the road to Britain turning into Somalia.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      True, but not the full story .....

      As a consequence of the stupidly liberal policies they are the generation of lazy wasters who feel the world owes them a living. In spite of never having done anything they think that because people who have worked hard have the latest electronic gadget, trainers, etc. they are deprived and entitled. I guess the politically correct phrase is ‘disaffected youth’?

      Now they are bored (may be their JSA got stopped….). Sadly it also appears as a consequence of social media they can also organise themselves. So they have taken to the streets. It is to be hoped that the government act fast and stamp on this criminal behaviour quickly.

      In my opinion the only value these scum will ever add to society is if they either get used for organ donations, or perhaps rendered down for pet food. Oh well.

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        Re: True, but not the full story

        We'll see. Presumably words like "Water Cannon", "Baton rounds", "Taser slugs" and "Yank crowd-zapper thingy" were being bandied around the CORBA table today, so it could all go a bit poo for anyone thinking of coming over all "disaffected" in the near future.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Here's how to fuck the lot of them!

    Time to turn off the mobile networks or 48 hours. That one act would severely curtail the bogans. Couple that with a complete Farcebook/Slitter block as the government has technology and powers to do so would almost shut the scrotes dow. Finish it off with the Arny/T.A. Stopping all moped/pushbike travel for 24 hours as a total ban in all London boroughs might calm it down as a finale.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Or ...

      Disrupt the comms ..... message 'good looting at corner of High street & Station Road'. Mob runs, turns the corner straight into a circle of police........ tanks..... flame throwers.

  25. auburnman

    Calm down dear

    All Blackberry have said is that "We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can" which is a fair enough boilerplate PR response for a company whose name has been tacked on to a negative news story. The talk of handing over decrypted communications is just speculation in the article as far as I can tell (Although looking back now the title is pretty misleading.) If it does go ahead then it's fairly likely to go through the proper channels - the police surely don't want to spend time sifting through any more data than they have to and don't want any egg on their faces over data requests.

    Having said that, even if messages were handed over the lingo of the yoof nowadays might make drawing conclusions about intent difficult. a message like:

    "Dixon's is gettin torched 2nite & da rozzers are on onion street so make tracks" might sound like incitement to riot to old fuddy duddies like us, but adding the context and translating into english might mean "There's a fire & looters at the Dixon's on the street you normally take to get home. Additionally a law enforcement blockade has been established on X street. I strongly advise you hurry home via an alternate route."

    1. Anonymous Coward


      ... it's not just RIM. It's also the plod making all sorts of fingerpointing noises at "certain technologies", a couple long-winded sentences later saying that yes, they're meaing "blackberries", along with "facebook" and "twitter" and "teh intarwebz" while at it. No wonder RIM is busily spinning themselves to look on the same side as law enforcement.

      Bit of a poor show really that they're focusing on that, for if it's true what they also said and it's a relatively small bunch inciting and organising rioting then taking them out of the equasion in a hurry would do far more.

      And, of course, if it's deliberate of the plod to smear RIM as a backhanded way to get "more access" with RIM, then, well, perhaps it will be time for some pointed questions about abuse of law by upholders of same. Something smells besides the riots, I just don't know what it is (yet?). But you're right, it may very well not be RIM.

    2. Rob Dobs

      Here is where facts are important in court

      Sure this context and words are up to some interpretation. But say this message was sent out the morning before the Dixon's gets torched....then you have some evidence of prior knowledge, maybe you didn't do it, but you sure look like you heard from somewhere who did.

      I really don't think (based on the poor planning of this event if it is indeed orchestrated) that we are talking about something ambiguous here. To succeed in the Court in a modern civilized country, there should be evidence that someone specifically and clearly intended to commit a crime.

      Why waste state money going after people with an ambiguous message like you stated, when likely there are more direct and incriminating statements like "OK get over to 4th street we are going to nap some TV's". Find poster of such comments, get warrant to search their house....find said stolen loot, and corresponding videos of them (even in a mask at this point) and you can be pretty sure a jury of their peers or magistrate will find them guilty of said crimes.

      Even worse would be obvious intentions to do harm to others, and more worth pursuing that some nicked kit.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    "Time to turn off the mobile networks or 48 hours"

    Bit harsh. Just put a one hour delay on messages (like you get at New Year's Eve anyway). That should provide a bit of leeway.

  27. Ken 16 Silver badge

    We're the Blackberry Boys

    I can't help imagining that jingle playing over footage of the looting.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    "consequence of the stupidly liberal policies "

    @Titus Technophobe 09:29

    That's a very poor start (how about "greed is good" and "you are what you wear" for a countercase), but the rest does make some sense.

    In my experience with the local "troubled youth" (the usual criminal damage, minor arson, etc in and around a local landmark in the suburbs of a big city outside London) the people involved in what used to be called "low level criminality" (when the police chose to ignore it) likely include many of the same ones as got involved in the last few days. The ones I've previously come across are proportionately as likely to be spoilt brats who think their rich Daddy and their grammar school will stop them facing any consequences as they are to be "chavscum on benefits with nothing to lose".

    "may be their JSA got stopped"

    I think you mean Education Maintenance Allowance. This lot of thugs and vandals were mostly not old enough to be working even if anyone would be interested in employing them. Cameron's cabinet of millionaires has abolished EMA.

    These scum are of a generation brought up to believe by what they see around them that actions do not have consequences and rights do not have responsibilities, and above all to believe that Might Is Right. Yes Sherlock, we are looking at the inevitable result of the Thatcher/Bliar generation. That's not to excuse what's been happening, just to point out that we had it coming.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      @AC Tuesday 9th August 2011 10:15 GMT

      Just to clarify my phrase 'stupidly liberal policies'. I was thinking of a situation where confronting about 30 youths who at the time were stoning the front of my house. They kept mentioning how if I laid a finger on them 'I would be in real trouble with the law'.

      I assume they were referring to the HRA, or some such other stupidity, not really my specialty. Oh yes you are entirely correct they were the "chavscum on benefits with nothing to lose" of the local middle class.

      At the time I was wishing the '2nd Amendment' applied in the UK, and thinking could I render the 4 ring leaders unconscious before getting the ********* kicked out of me (my bets were on 2 or 3 and then I would get seriously hurt). As it happened fortunately the police weren't otherwise engaged and a CCTV van chased them off.......

      I agree the causes are various political policies of both the left and right wing. But you know what do we do now?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Stolen phones and IMEI blocking?

    Mobile phone shops and mobile phones seem to have been popular targets for thieving.

    What are the chances the stolen handsets will be allowed to work until their new 'owners' are nicked courtesy of smartphone GPS, cell triangulation, unsolicited "come to collect a prize", etc?

    Would seem only fair, surely?

  30. David 155

    cheap? free?

    Is it? From what i can gather you need to be signed up to Blackberry Internet Services for it to work, which costs money monthly, although it seems to be included within most data plans. Thats how i understand it anyway

    1. Jess

      @cheap? free?

      £20 for 6 months BIS on t-mobile PAYG

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Criminal thugs ?? Future Voters...

    They've seen through the politicians lies, they're going to be worse off than their parents and grandparents, and despite record levels of university graduates there is massive unemployment amnogst the young or worse, only badly paid jobs or "traineeships"

    Great f***ing future !

    "Ahh f**k it lets go get an adrenaline rush, do some property damage and steal stuff that's insured anyway, who's going to get hurt ?...."

    I can remember feeling like that as a teenager, and I'm nearly 50 FFS !

    Rebelling is part of being young.. If it makes a few politicians choke on their waitrose preprepared warmed up dinners and costs the state money do the rebelling care ? ... of course not and so they shouldn't!

    As to BB giving out information ... if you really think that the state can't get hold of any information they want whenever they want then come and see my flying pig !

  32. qwertyuiop

    So RIM shouldn't give out information?

    A lot of people seem to think that RIM shouldn't give out information they hold which may help to solve a crime unless there is due process. Firstly, I read their statement as suggesting that there is due process, but let's assume I'm wrong. Let's see if you take the same stance in an scenario that is different in detail but the same in principle.

    Imagine you're walking down the street one day and somebody leaps out of an alleyway, viciously assaults you and robs you. I happen to observe the whole crime from my window and can provide a very good description of your attacker - maybe I even managed to grab my camera and take some pictures. You are unaware that I exist, let alone that I witnessed the crime.

    You call the police and they arrive. Clearly the correct thing for me to do is to stay in the house, say nothing, and wait for the police to (somehow) discover that I witnessed the crime and have valuable evidence. After all, it would be wholly wrong for me to volunteer information without due process.

    Of course, I will now be shouted down by the nay-sayers who will declare that the situation is entirely different, but it isn't. RIM are "witnesses" to several crimes because they hold evidence of how they were organised. Why shouldn't they be responsible citizens and give their evidence to the police?

    1. AdamWill

      Sorry, but no.

      Sorry, but that _is_ entirely different. You have no kind of agreement or contract with either party: you are a third party eyewitness. RIM didn't just find transcripts of these conversations lying in the street, or happen to be within earshot when people were talking to each other. They are the facilitators of the communications and they have an explicit direct relationship with each party to it.

    2. auburnman


      "Wit·ness [wit-nis]

      verb (used with object)


      to see, hear, or know by personal presence and perception: to witness an accident."

      It's not the same thing because If anyone at RIM already knows by personal perception that one of their customers was involved in the rioting based on data the company holds then their customers are being spied on and RIM are in big doo-doo.

      If RIM were to cooperate with the police and give evidence they would by necessity have to actively go looking for it based on the data currently held in their corporate network - totally different from witnessing at the time of the event. Maybe helping to catch rioters is a noble goal but it would almost by definition involve studying the data they hold on innocent 'bystanders' in their network, and who are RIM to say that is okay?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whats app

    Many of my brothers friends seem to use 'whats app' as an alternative to BBM on their iPhones.

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