Policing: Social Media & Flash Mobs

As neighbourhoods in England continue to burn, we take a look at how technology - much of it Canadian - is being employed. And at what the police can do to close the technology gap.

Today's guest host was Jim Brown.

Part One of The Current


It's Wednesday, August 10th.

The Conservatives criticize interim NDP leader Nycole Turmel for her Bloc Quebecois ties ... but Conservative cabinet minister Denis Lebel once was a member of the separatist party, too.

Currently, now that's the pot calling the kettle Bloc.

This is The Current.

Policing: Social Media & Flash Mobs - Paul Reilly

We started this segment with some reaction from Britons to the riots that have been plaguing cities in England this week. The Blackberry - specifically its instant messaging service - is extremely popular with the rioters. They've been using it to organize mobs spontaneously ... always staying a few steps ahead of the police. The messaging service has been so central to the riots that one British MP is calling for Blackberry to suspend it until the riots can be contained. And Blackberry's maker, RIM, has agreed to cooperate with British police.

Clearly, police have struggled to keep up with the rioters and their technology. But just how far behind are they? Paul Reilly is a lecturer in media and communication at Leicester University, in the UK. He has studied police responses in Northern Ireland, where young people have used social media to organize subversive activities. And he's been following the riots in Britain closely. Paul Reilly was in Belfast today.

Policing: Social Media & Flash Mobs - Lauri Stevens

Social media has been used this way in other countries as well -- and it's likely to be used this way again. Our next guest has been working with police to develop a counter-strategy.

Lauri Stevens is an interactive media professional and the founder of LAwS Communications, which provides training to law enforcement professionals. She was in Newport, Rhode Island this morning.

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