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Police accessed BlackBerry messages to thwart planned riots

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Vikram Dodd
London Guardian
Aug 16, 2011

Scotland Yard stopped planned attacks by rioters on iconic sites across London hours before they were to take place after they managed to “break into” encrypted social messaging sites, it has emerged.

Attacks on the Olympics site, upmarket stores in Oxford circus and the two Westfield shopping centres in east and west London were plotted using BlackBerry Messenger.

Detectives made the breakthrough hours before the planned attacks after scouring the mobile phones of people who had been arrested during the riots. It gave them access to the messages planning riots and looting, which were bouncing around the heavily encrypted BlackBerry Messenger service.

In effect by last Monday afternoon they were able to monitor BlackBerry messaging, and send extra officers to disrupt attacks on the high profile sites in the capital – attacks that would have heightened the sense of threat and danger felt by Londoners.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 8:01 am

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