Issues for Debate

Watchdog upset as BlackBerry helps UK cops – what do you think?

I am sure we have all been shocked by the recent riots across the UK, and we wish the authorities to track down the offenders. This article refers to a media watchdog voicing concern on Saturday at the co-operation between British authorities and the Canadian maker of BlackBerry smartphones to identify rioters in London and other cities. This raises a very interesting issue about our civil liberties.

More concerning for me is that one part of me says yes the offenders should be brought to justice and it is right that this information was exchanged between Blackberry and UK police. Another part of me is greatly concerned about the future implications of such an action. Where will it stop? We are relying on the integrity of the police which in this case I am sure is well placed. What about the future when people approach Blackberry or other suppliers with a similar request who want it for more sinister reasons. It will be too late to come back from the precipice.

We need to think very careful about  just handing over such information, we need to open our eyes to the implications of this. We do not know what government will be in power in the future, which might have very different views on our civil rights. I will be honest, I do not know what is best for us here.

What do you think? I would like to start a debate on this. Please send me your comments only by debating this sensitive subject can we make sure our liberties are preserved.