Phone Snooping ‘Prevented Riots’

Photo: Riemer Palstra (CC)

Photo: Riemer Palstra (CC)

To tweet or not tweet where you’re rioting next? One option was to shut down social networks so that rioters couldn’t mass communicate. The other option was to allow them to tweet and text, then read their messages to find out what they’re planning next. The latter was able to prevent attacks on the Olympic site and London’s Oxford Street. BBC reports:

Police say they prevented attacks by rioters on the Olympic site and London’s Oxford Street after picking up intelligence on social networks.

Assistant Met Police Commissioner Lynne Owens told a committee of MPs officers learned of possible trouble via Twitter and Blackberry messenger.

But Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin said he had considered asking authorities to switch off social networks.

He said they provided intelligence but could also be misleading.

A number of politicians, media commentators and members of the police force have suggested that Twitter and Blackberry Messenger (BBM) had a role to play in the riots.

[Continues at BBC News]

, , , , , , , , ,

  • Mr Willow

    Right, and wire-taps and torture ‘prevented’ terror attacks here in the US. 

    • Redacted

      Thats what Jack Bauer said.

      • Mr Willow

        Ha!

  • Mr Willow

    Right, and wire-taps and torture ‘prevented’ terror attacks here in the US. 

  • Hadrian999

    on a side note, twitter is an agent provocateur’s wet dream. hacking a single twitter account and abducting a key leader in a movement could push an entire organization into criminal activity, it’s a perfect way to roll up dissident groups.

  • Hadrian999

    on a side note, twitter is an agent provocateur’s wet dream. hacking a single twitter account and abducting a key leader in a movement could push an entire organization into criminal activity, it’s a perfect way to roll up dissident groups.

  • Stumage

    Sniff sniff, something stinks, did a bull shit in here some where?

  • Stumage

    Sniff sniff, something stinks, did a bull shit in here some where?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Someone  from counter intelligence must have had a stern chat with them and brought a few tired old traditional ‘hard power’ fascists to grasp that silencing communications is actually detrimental to info gathering and manipulation efforts. In the technical era…the weapons of soft power are disinformation, observation, co-opting, corrupting etc. A black out leaves the intelligence gatherers as helpless to predict whats next as the insurrectionist/insurgent.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Someone  from counter intelligence must have had a stern chat with them and brought a few tired old traditional ‘hard power’ fascists to grasp that silencing communications is actually detrimental to info gathering and manipulation efforts. In the technical era…the weapons of soft power are disinformation, observation, co-opting, corrupting etc. A black out leaves the intelligence gatherers as helpless to predict whats next as the insurrectionist/insurgent.

  • BuzzCoastin

    It’s interesting to see the UK, a longstanding critic of Chinese censorship, doing exactly what China does.

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    It’s interesting to see the UK, a longstanding critic of Chinese censorship, doing exactly what China does.

  • Anonymous

    Thats what Jack Bauer said.

  • Mr Willow

    Ha!

  • matty-o

    I love how governments don’t know how to respond to an emergency unless they can spy on their own citizens.

  • matty-o

    I love how governments don’t know how to respond to an emergency unless they can spy on their own citizens.

  • RON

    SURE INVADE MY PRIVACY! MORONS ACTUALLY BELEIVE THIS IDIOTS !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • RON

    SURE INVADE MY PRIVACY! MORONS ACTUALLY BELEIVE THIS IDIOTS !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • respect cult

    From http://www.9gag.com

    Hello RiotersLook at your friend, now back to me; now at your friend, now back to me! Sadly, he isn’t me; but if he stopped using antisocial behavior and started using job center he could be like me. Look down, back up. Where are we? You’re at an interview, with the man your friend could work for! What’s in his hand? It’s an application form to that job he needs. Look again.. the form is now money! Anything is possible when you get a job and stop looting. I’m at a desk.

  • respect cult

    From http://www.9gag.com

    Hello RiotersLook at your friend, now back to me; now at your friend, now back to me! Sadly, he isn’t me; but if he stopped using antisocial behavior and started using job center he could be like me. Look down, back up. Where are we? You’re at an interview, with the man your friend could work for! What’s in his hand? It’s an application form to that job he needs. Look again.. the form is now money! Anything is possible when you get a job and stop looting. I’m at a desk.

  • Okarin

    they had cctv cameras area and they still couldn’t see this coming

  • Okarin

    they had cctv cameras area and they still couldn’t see this coming

  • Tuna Ghost

    Oh yeah, they “stopped” the riots alright.  I mean, that whole riot was just a blip on the national radar.  They had that under control right away.  

  • Tuna Ghost

    Oh yeah, they “stopped” the riots alright.  I mean, that whole riot was just a blip on the national radar.  They had that under control right away.  

21
More in BBM, Blackberry, London, Privacy, riots, Security, Social Network, Surveillance, Texting
NYPD Forms Social Media Unit To Monitor Facebook and Twitter

Rocco Parascandola reports in the NY Daily News: The NYPD has formed a new unit to track troublemakers who announce plans or brag about their crimes on Twitter, MySpace and...

Close