Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blackberry Messenger Used to Organize London Riots?

Blackberry messenger, twitter and facebook could have contributed to ignite further the violence in London according to reports.

Authorities are now investigating the role of social media sites in this weekend's riots in London on Saturday night and Sunday evening, according to Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanaugh.

Although twitter and facebook has become a handy public venue to connect with people, it appears that the non-public BlackBerry BBM messaging network has become the method of choice to organize looting and violence.

The riot started after a police official shot 29-year-old Mark Duggan in the Tottenham section of North London on Thursday.

But prior to the shooting incident, Duggan reportedly sent a final message to his girlfriend via BlackBerry Messenger, "The Feds are following me."

Now, many of the teenagers running through London's streets are said to be communicating through BlackBerry Messenger - it cost less than smartphones, essentially cost-free and invisible to police.

Patrick Spence, Managing Director of Global Sales and Regional Marketing of Research in Motion, the manufacturer of BlackBerry, issued a statement saying, "We feel for those impacted by this weekend's riots in London. We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can. As in all markets around the world where BlackBerry is available, we cooperate with local telecommunications operators, law enforcement and regulatory officials."

Photo credit: Lewis Whyld/PA/AP

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