Gangs know what encryption is. They are using it in force at the street level, let alone at the very top. Rim's BlackBerries are the ultimate in security for them. Everything is secured and impossible to monitor by police.
It has become so popular among B.C. gang members that an internal RCMP) "threat assessment" on organized crime produced this year devotes an entire section to the device.
"It's something we've seen increasing over the last three to four years," Staff Sgt. Bruce Imrie, head of the RCMP's Vancouver Integrated Technological Crime Unit, said in an interview. And that poses a big challenge for law enforcement, because encryption and security features make the devices much harder to wiretap than land lines or cellphones.
Rim's Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) is one of the most sophisticated platforms for email and PIN messages. This system used to be the domain of big corporations. No longer. One of the reasons many financial brokerage institutions ban the use of PIN messages is because they can't be tracked. In 2005 this was big news and was reported widely. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) banned its use. Organized crime picked up where the banks left off.
RCMP Insp. Gary Shinkaruk, head of biker gang investigations in B.C., said BlackBerries are "extremely common" among the criminals his unit investigates."For a lot of groups, it's standard practice," he said.
The RCMP legendary motto maybe heading to the delete bin and may not be able to always get their man after all...