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RIM to 'assist authorities' in catching rioters that used BBM

BlackBerry Messenger service is thought ot have used ro organise riots and looting

Research in Motion (RIM), makers of BlackBerry devices, have confirmed they will "assist the authorities" in helping identify rioters that used the BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) service to organise looting and violence across the UK.

BBM allows users to send a message to large numbers of contacts that are connected via BBM PINs. Messages sent using BBM are free, instant and in several cases are untraceable by the authorities

"As in all markets around the world where BlackBerry is available, we co-operate with local telecommunications operators, law enforcement and regulatory officials," Patrick Spence, managing director of global sales and regional marketing at BlackBerry UK, said.

"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.

Riots began in Tottenham on Saturday night following a peaceful protest regarding the Police shooting of Mark Duggan. Since then areas of London and now around the country have been subject to "copycat criminal activity" over the past two days according to the Metropolitan Police.

It is rumoured that BBM has been used in place of micro-blogging service Twitter and social network Facebook as these are more easily traced. However, Deputy assistant commissioner Stephen Kavanagh confirmed the Police will consider arresting those that have used the micro-blogging service to encourage rioting and looting.

"That investigation [Twitter uses inciting violence] is already under way and that is exactly the sort of thing we are looking at," he said.

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