While British politicians wade into Syria over its crackdown on rioters, they apparently are dead keen on bringing in anti-technology measures which were tried unsuccessfully by failing regimes in the Middle East.
According to Reuters the Blackberry was one of the reasons why unsophisticated criminals were outfoxing an otherwise sophisticated police force. The Blackberry Messenger is encrypted and police can’t access it.
Research In Motion has said that it is co-operating with the Police but has not said if it is handing over chat logs or user details to Inspector Knacker of the Yard..
RIM’s Inside BlackBerry blog was hacked on Tuesday by a group going by the name of Teampoison. The group posted a warning to the company not to cooperate with police.
The hackers said that if RIM assists the police, it had access to your database which includes your employee’s information. It threatened to make this information public and pass it onto rioters.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh of the Metropolitan police said yesterday that Police have got extensive monitoring of this BlackBerry messaging model although he did not say how. He added that a lot of people who are seeing Blackberry messages are forwarding them to the police.
Still, the irony of slamming the Syrians for their handling of demonstrators while demanding censorship and water cannons on your own streets seems to have been lost on the current government.