BBC Bans Bungling BlackBerry

from the where-with-the-email-addicts-get-their-fix-now dept

The BBC has suspended its use of BlackBerry devices (registration required) after people started receiving emails not intended for them. Apparently users were getting pieces of other peoples’ emails randomly inserted in the bodies of their own messages, and the corporation has shut down the service until security can be assured, which could take another two weeks. It looks like a perfect storm could be brewing for RIM, with the threat of an injunction looming closer and intensified competition from a growing number of rivals. High-profile service failures right now could further strengthen the position of the company’s competitors.


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Comments on “BBC Bans Bungling BlackBerry”

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2 Comments
Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Need To Know Source Of Error

This is definitely a setback for RIM in the market, but realistically, e-mail issues can be caused by a number of factors, some of which have nothing to do with RIM. There can be issues in the Internet, at the corporate Exchange server level, or in the Carrier GPRS network (Mobitex networks tend to be more reliable and secure). We need to know where the problem was caused in this case.

Luke (user link) says:

The Article

BBC suspends BlackBerry service

Jason Deans
Tuesday October 25, 2005

The BBC has suspended the BlackBerry personal digital assistant service used by more than 300 senior executives, including director general Mark Thompson, after people started receiving emails not intended for them.

BBC executives are having to revert to phones and computers to run their fiefdoms, instead of the BlackBerry handheld devices, which provide a combined mobile phone, email, internet and personal organiser service.

The BBC BlackBerry service was suspended after some staff began receiving fragments of emails intended for other users.

“It was brought to our attention by a BlackBerry user that they were receiving portions of other people’s emails in the body of other emails,” a BBC spokesman said. “We immediately suspended the BlackBerry service and it remains suspended.”

The service will continue to be suspended “until we can receive an absolute guarantee of security from our supplier” a senior BBC insider added.

BBC executives are said to be “alarmed” that private or commercially sensitive information could potentially be sent to the wrong people within the corporation.

BlackBerrys are used by more than 300 senior BBC staff, including Mr Thompson and his executive board, but also by programme-makers who need to stay in contact with the office while away filming on location.

BlackBerry users at the BBC are understood to have been without the service for at least a week, and Siemens, the corporation’s IT contractor, sent round a message saying it would be down for at least another fortnight.

The BBC’s service is supplied by Siemens, BlackBerry and mobile phone operator Vodafone.

Siemens had not responded to MediaGuardian.co.uk when this article was published.

In the past couple of years the BlackBerry has established itself as a ubiquitous symbol of corporate status in the media and other sectors, with only senior echelons of management within each organisation being issued with the handheld mobile devices.

However, the BlackBerry has proved a double-edged sword, meaning that a manager can always be in phone and email contact with their staff, and vice versa.

Thank you bugmenot

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