August 9, 2011 by USA Post
BlackBerry Messenger, Messages that pass through the BlackBerry Messenger system is almost certainly already being examined by police, who need no ministerial warrant or permission to search for evidence.
While the regulator Investigative Powers Act (RIPA) is required for intercepting communications in vivo. Once the messages have been sent files (if files exist) are subject to the Data Protection Act. The DPA is a bit more flexible legislation, which would allow the police to drag all the messages sent over the network for people identification tests.
That is the opinion of Kathryn Wynn Pinsent Masons, who told us that RIM could potentially hand over the entire archive of messages sent over the last few days. That allows the police to search for keywords and discard those messages were not interested, although the police can also ask RIM to make finding them.
BlackBerry Messenger is a closed system, messages are only sent between the parties previously identified and are usually not read by anyone else. Unlike the Twitter public forum, BBM messages usually remain private, more like the SMS group sending a social network.
Also like SMS, but unlike most IM systems, all messages pass through UK BBM RIM servers, providing an ideal opportunity to file and intercept communications.
We do not know for a fact that RIM has an archive of instant messages sent, but there are good reasons to think it does. UK mobile network operators to store the historical location of all mobile phones for a year, along with text messages and call logs, in order to comply with RIPA requests from the authorities, it seems likely RIM is bound by the same legislation.
When asked about RIM, the company delivered the following statement: “Like other technology vendors that meet the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act and to cooperate fully with the Ministry of Interior and police forces of the United Kingdom “- so one can be reasonably sure that it was not the record of the above, it is now.
Once you enter data that is under the Data Protection Act, instead of RIPA, so the police can use “proportional” measures for the detection of a crime. RIM could, for example, provide the entire file of the police to search without the identity of connected users, which allows police to check for interesting messages and then ask for the identities of the senders. But it would probably be easier for the police for RIM only to perform the same search and provide results.
We asked the Information Commissioner’s Office, custodian of the DPA, on this and were told that the police have a range of powers to access stored information and that the ICO is not likely to participate.
That will not help the police know what is happening now: the real-time interception under RIPA yet, but will help police to track down anyone they think is incitement to riot, and the Metropolitan force has made clear that it will pursue convictions for such things.
BBM’s role in the riots remains controversial, with some noting that the sound of the police, fire engines running, and dissemination of news from Sky, will help the robbers lost over IM, but that has not stopped Calls for service will be closed for a couple of days with the hope of avoiding more coordinated meetings.
That’s unlikely to happen, despite a campaign backed by BSkyB Twitter, but no one imagined that the traffic BBM somehow beyond the community of law enforcement is very wrong. ®
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