What's the Latest Development?
Although Twitter and Facebook have played a key role in the recent London riots, police believe that for the first time there, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) was the main and favored organizational tool. Why? Unlike text messaging or Twitter, BBM is a free, private social network where almost all messages are encrypted when they leave the sender's phone–meaning that many messages are untraceable by the authorities.
What's the Big Idea?
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM), which has said it would co-operate with a police investigation, can be legally ordered to hand police details of users suspected of unlawful activity. However, the Canadian company would be likely to resist those demands and the content of users' inflammatory messages would be encrypted. The manufacturer has previously insisted that even it cannot unscramble users' messages when sent on the devices.