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UK Cops "Accessed" Blackberrys to Squash Riots


 Wait, wasn't this almost a story about the BART just a few days ago? The Guardian:


On Tuesday morning police revealed they had considered switching off social messaging sites, including BlackBerry Messenger and Twitter.

Testifying before MPs on the home affairs committee, the acting Metropolitan police commissioner, Tim Godwin, said police discovered they did not have the legal powers to do so: "We did consider seeking the legal authority to switch it off. The legality is questionable, very questionable."

What they did instead was trawl through the BBMs of those they'd arrested, searching for information on where more protests, riots and/or looting was scheduled to pop off. They then deployed extra police to higher profile targets, such as "the Olympics site, upmarket stores in Oxford circus and the two Westfield shopping centres in east and west London," says the Guardian. But despite the "questionable" legality, the government and police drafted a private security service and separate "eavesdropping centre" to help them use social networking to further thwart rioting, "and to work out how the heavily encrypted BlackBerry messaging could be "cracked" in future, in real time if need be."  

Which sounds a lot like hacking. Read the full story at the Guardian.



AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at August 16, 2011, 5:10am

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