Printed from http://www.electronista.com

RIM would shut BlackBerry Messenger if ordered by UK

updated 02:50 pm EDT, Thu September 15, 2011

A same time argues BBM helpful in times of crisis

RIM, the makers of Blackberry smartphones and the operator of the BlackBerry Messenger service (BBM), told a UK investigative committee that it would shut down BBM during incidents like the recent riots and other if ordered, but not voluntarily. Stephen Bates, RIM UK Managing Director, told members of the British Parliament that the company would obey the law but that BBM wasn't inherently wrong. Social media could have positive uses in a crisis, and suspending messaging services such as BBM was not a "good way to move forward," Bates said.

Alexander Macgillivray, responsible for public policy at Twitter, was more forceful in mirroring that view. He told the committee that using Twitter and other social networking media could be helpful during periods of large-scale disorder, and shutting it down would be an "absolutely horrible idea."

BBM encrypts its messages end to end and was used extensively by rioters to incite and coordinate activity in a way that wouldn't leave a trail. At the time, British authorities, including Prime Minister David Cameron, thought that the country should consider shutting down online social networking if similar incidents of mass unrest should occur in the future. Since then, the government has softened its position and said it was unlikely that it would take such extreme steps.

Opponents of any kind of shutdown, independently of the companies involved, have noted that the very same BBM and similar services were used to coordinate voluntary clean-ups and spread the identities of known rioters. [via Reuters]



By Electronista Staff
toggle

Comments

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Life n Soul 8 Driver Bluetooth headphones

When it comes to music on the go, consumers generally have some options to consider when looking for the best experience. While Blueto ...

Tesoro Tizona G2N Elite gaming keyboard

The market for gaming keyboards is getting crowded, starting off with some fairly simple keyboards and diverging into the land of modu ...

GX Gaming DeathTaker mouse

Gaming is a serious endeavor for many people, driving them to look for the best performance in their system and interface devices. Fro ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News