This past weekend it was revealed that, due to its inherent privacy, Research in Motion’s (TSX:RIM) BlackBerry Messenger, or BBM, was the preferred platform for London rioters to communicate with one another.
This prompted a response from RIM, through its Twitter account @UK_Blackberry that the Waterloo based company would comply with authorities, who are still trying to contain the after affects of the riot, which began in the London borough of Tottenham. RIM spokesman Patrick Spence subsequently told the UK’s Inquirer that “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.”
This morning, a bit of cloak and dagger as the normally staid BlackBerry Blog, which typically talks about the features of the BlackBerry Bold or new apps in the BlackBerry App World, was hacked by a group called called TeaMp0isoN, who left the following message.
You Will _NOT_ assist the UK Police because if u do innocent members of the public who were at the wrong place at the wrong time and owned a blackberry will get charged for no reason at all, the Police are looking to arrest as many people as possible to save themselves from embarrassment…. if you do assist the police by giving them chat logs, gps locations, customer information & access to peoples BlackBerryMessengers you will regret it, we have access to your database which includes your employees information; e.g – Addresses, Names, Phone Numbers etc. – now if u assist the police, we _WILL_ make this information public and pass it onto rioters…. do you really want a bunch of angry youths on your employees doorsteps? Think about it…. and don’t think that the police will protect your employees, the police can’t protect themselves let alone protect others….. if you make the wrong choice your database will be made public, save yourself the embarrassment and make the right choice. don’t be a puppet..
p.s – we do not condone in innocent people being attacked in these riots nor do we condone in small businesses being looted, but we are all for the rioters that are engaging in attacks on the police and government…. and before anyone says “the blackberry employees are innocent” no they are not! They are the ones that would be assisting the police.”
So who is TeaMp0isoN? According to Wikipedia, they are group of Black-Hat Computer Hackers established in mid-2009. The group is said to be pro-Palestinian and pro-Kashmiri. Previous targets of the group have included Obama, Sarah Palin, Facebook and “various US Government servers containing confidential information.” TeaMp0isoN gained notoriety in June after posting the contents of Tony Blair’s electronic address book, reportedly for his role in supporting the war in Iraq.
Meanwhile, the London riots, which started on the August 6th after London’s Metropolitan Police Service shot and killed 29 year old Mark Duggan, have now prompted a digital response from authorities. The police have established a Flickr page entitled “London Disorder – Operation Withern” to help identify rioters.