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Blackberry Service Aided London Rioters

The London riots are thought to have been organized through a free Blackberry messaging service, according to various news reports. Blackberry Messenger allows users to transmit messages to individuals or groups though the use of PINs.

Blackberry’s parent company Research in Motion has since issued a statement to UK media outlets, stating that the company would comply with British law and hand over encrypted information from its system to authorities. The company also took to Twitter Monday night, stating, “We feel for those impacted by the riots in London. We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can.”

A group known as TeaMp0isoN hacked RIM’s Inside Blackberry blog Tuesday by posting a message to the Canadian company on the blog threatening to attack innocent civilians who own Blackberry smartphones and releasing RIM employees’ personal information. It is not known if the hackers succeeded due to a software security fault or if an administrator’s passwords were compromised.

Authorities are also taking advantage of the web to make arrests of those involved in the chaos. The London Metropolitan Police have posted photos of suspected looters on Flickr, asking the public to help identify those photographed, and a Catch a Looter blog page was created on Tumblr for a similar purpose.

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