BlackBerry maker RIM is in talks with the police following widespread rioting in London and other parts of the UK which may have been co-ordinated in some instances by rioters communicating via RIM’s BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service.
The manufacturer issued a statement via its official Twitter site yesterday stating it was helping the authorities. It said: ‘We feel for those impacted by the riots in London. We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can.’
This was followed by RIM MD of global sales and regional marketing Patrick Spence issuing an official response to add to the first tweet.
It said: ‘As in all markets around the world where BlackBerry is available, we cooperate with local telecommunications operators, law enforcement and regulatory officials.
‘Similar to other technology providers in the UK we comply with The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and co-operate fully with the Home Office and UK police forces.’
The rioting broke out following a shooting incident in Tottenham, London, involving police and a local man Mark Duggan, who was shot dead.
The violence spread over the weekend to other parts of London and major regional cities including Birmingham and Liverpool.
Rioters appeared to be mainly young people. Police confirmed reports that some rioters were using Twitter and BBM to organise attacks in various locations.
Ofcom's recent Communications Market report said the majority (37%) of UK teenagers use BlackBerry handsets.