Rioters and looters who attacked shops and police across London over the weekend used the popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) tool to organise the disturbances owing to the platform's speed and security.
Police had earlier blamed social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook for the speed at which large groups of youths were able to organise themselves, but it has emerged that BBM was favoured by those bent on destruction.
Writing on its official @UK_BlackBerry Twitter account, RIM acknowledged the role the technology had played and said that the company will help police with their enquiries in the aftermath of the destruction.
"We feel for those impacted by the riots in London. We have engaged with the authorities to assist in any way we can," RIM said.
RIM has faced problems with its security technology before. Authorities in nations such as India and Saudi Arabia have demanded access to communications sent on its secure BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) to help curb terrorism.
The company has always denied that it is able to provide the necessary security keys to decrypt conversations on BES, but reportedly gave the authorities in Saudi Arabia security codes allowing them to read encrypted BBM messages.
In a statement sent to V3, RIM repeated its line that it will comply with "local telecoms operators, law enforcement and regulatory officials".
"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," it added.
This means that the Metropolitan Police could technically monitor BBM messages in order to head off any further trouble in London. There have already been reports of more messages being sent via Twitter and BBM on Monday trying to co-ordinate further looting.
RIM is facing a tough time in the market at present as staff increasingly choose iPhones and Android devices over BlackBerry smartphones, leading to shareholders questioning the firm's ability to compete.
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