SA BBM cybercrime policies may follow UK, Saudi Arabia

Following the recent riots in London, the British government entered into discussions with social networking services to see whether there should be limits on the use of social media services such as BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) during times of disorder.

A UK Home Office spokesperson said that they would discuss “whether and how we should be able to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality.”

Obed Bapela, deputy minister of the Department of Commuincations (DoC), said that they are in the process of submitting a cybercrime policy for public comment which will make specific mention of BBM.

Speaking at Telkom’s SATNAC event held in East London, Bapela said that the policy would include provisions for government to be able to decrypt BBM communications.

“We will not be spying on you, please,” Bapela assured the audience.

Bapela explained that they only want to be able to access your messages when a crime is committed and that they’ll need a court order to do so.

“We will still go to court to get permission,” Bapela clarified.

Jan Vermeulen is a guest of Telkom at SATNAC 2011

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SA BBM cybercrime policies may follow UK, Saudi Arabia