PARTYING LIKE IT’S 1999: WITH BBM, NSA AND YOU.

so familiar, yet so different

so familiar, yet so different without a keyboard!

In 1999, I sent my first BBM. I had access to an early model of a Blackberry which my Aunt was testing for Jim and Mike of RIM. It was pretty cool for 1999 even though it’s not impressive now. In 1999, there were cell phones and internet, but there wasn’t anything with mobile texting capabilities for the general public. Internet was still dial up and most people were only getting it at school and work. (OHHH THE GLORY!!!!!!!how far we have come!!!!!!)

I got my first Blackberry in 2009. Alot of my friends were on Blackberries too, so it was a good time…a secret exclusive club on BBM.  BBM going off made me (and many of you) like a crackhead reaching for your next hit and checking it constantly to see if your message was delivered and read, naturally amping up our natural predatory instincts (READ: stalking) and impatience. Everyone who had a Blackberry device was addicted to it, hence the term ‘Crackberry’. I was flipping channels once and heard Joy Behar remark hearing her Blackberry go off sent her into a frenzy like it was her baby crying in the middle of the night. I chuckled because I got it. You’re chuckling now, because you get it. (You’re probably reading this on your smart phone, so you’re still addicted to a phone).

Correspondence in the digital age is surprisingly weird. Emailing, Texting, IM-ing, BBMing, Googlechatting, Whatsapping, Snapchatting, Twittering, Facebooking; essentially it’s all the same, but some feel less work (maybe due to the instantaneous nature) even though it’s essentially communicating through a block of text, emoticons, pictures or videos (of interpretive dance). I wonder what Marshall McLuhan would have to say about these forms social media.

Blackberry experienced a slump when iPhones busted out into the modern digital world.   Subsequently most of us former crackheads started new relationships or renewed our relationships with cellphone providers to acquire the latest technology by getting iPhones or Androids.

Surrounded by failed attempts into the tablet world and poor management and business decisions: if Blackberry was a person, it became that former popular kid.  The one who was ousted from higher levels of the schoolyard caste system who got shafted for new, cooler kids who just moved into town and who were crowned the new king and queens of the playground because of the mysticism and coolness surrounding them.  Blackberry, slowly plotted revenge, a comeback and listened to Coldplay’s ‘Viva la Vida’ on repeat everynight while crying themselves to sleep.

Until yesterday. Fighting for survival, Blackberry decided to ‘Improvise, Adapt and Overcome“.  Yesterday Blackberry made it’s much anticipated comeback and released BBM for multiplatform usage. What was once an exclusive club for Blackberry handset users has now been opened to us ALL regardless of phone OS.  Apple did try to copy BBM with iMessage, but like the original versions BBM, it was only useful to contacts on the same phone platform.

My QR code (which RIM was one of the first to sucessfully use and implement into the mainstream) and my PIN.  Feel free to add me to your BBM, say "Hi!" once and then never message again.

My QR code (which RIM was one of the first to sucessfully use and implement into the mainstream) and my PIN. Feel free to add me to your BBM, say “Hi!” once and then never message again because we aren’t BFFs.

 

The flood gates have opened and many downloaded it, but were unable to use it unless they had signed up for a Beta release in September. We were put on waiting lists. I received my PIN within 15 hours and got access to BBM yesterday moring. But I used my old BB ID to fast track it.  I’m not quite sure why I decided to get it again, I mean it’s just another app that I already have 7 of that do the same thing-let me message friends.  Just another one that I now have to not really communicate with 70 of my closest friends that I don’t really keep in close touch with.  But I guess BBM is like an old friend I just bumped into and wanted to reminice with.  I’m sure I’ll end up deleting it within a week or two, but I’m waiting and hoping they update the Video chat capabilites for non-Blackberry handsets so I can test that out.  I’m more curious to see if they will be charging for BBM. They are losing money, this would be a burden on the servers, nothing in Life is free…

Now the reason Blackberry was so popular was because of the encryption. It was favored in the Business world because of BES and BIS. (I’m not going to explain it, Google is your teacher—This post is just your TL:DR guide to life and tech security). Blackberry has had problems and the future is questionable.  One particular issue was being banned because RIM/Blackberry wouldn’t let some countries intercept or monitor user data. I used to joke that we were all safe sending sexts through BBM because of the security of the servers…..I am not sure if this still holds true.

Why should encryption matter to you or I, normal peasants without power? Well  we have established NSA is spying on ALL of us.  Yes, Citizens of the World, it’s not just Americans. One would feel even if you are not a terrorist, you don’t want some government IT nerd going through your communications. Duffel Blog covered it nicely….A funny read I highly recommend. Don’t think they’d bother sifting through your boring data just to see if they can find something in the salicious? Think again. Blame this jerk….now none of us can have anything without it being data mined.

What does BBM, NSA have to do with you? Well, there is no mention of whether or not this multiplatform release of BBM’s encryption goes through BES or BIS (which I think is specific technology only for Blackberry handsets) or any mention of encryption or what type it is. Maybe this is STILL being determined since Blackberry’s concern is not crashing their servers and having the BBM rollout go as smoothly as possible in order to prevent further panic to the future of the company. I haven’t been able to find anything on the BBM website or any other tech related websites regarding what type or if there is any similar encryption offered for iPhones and Androids using BBM like there is for Blackberry phones. Maybe I’m just not a good researcher (read: Googler), or maybe everyone is just caught up in the hype with Blackberry making it rain and gifting us all with BBM.

As for Apple, DEA has stated iMessage was not as easy to intercept That being said, many companies of Silicone Valley and surrounding area are in the government’s back pocket, so proceed with caution. (Google and Facebook keep changing their privacy terms every quarter).

The general rule of how to govern yourself in relation to NSA and other countries and intelligence agencies spying on us, is remember SOMEONE is ALWAYS WATCHING, LISTENING and HACKING.

Going to send a sexty pic? Remember RULE #1 OF THE INTERNET and let Anthony Weiner be a lesson to us all-don’t be a dumbass and include your face.

Going to include your face and think it’s ok because it’s Snapchat? Well Snapchat got hacked.

Going to accept sexty pics from some girl who gave you her info? Don’t be R. Kelly, make sure she isn’t underage or you’ll end up busted for child pR0nz.

Going to mention the B-word? B as in Bomb…well …THEN expect the FBI at your door in 2 days or to be added to a No Fly list or something similar.

All in All, this long ass post of my babbling was brought to you myself (lacking sleep), Blackberry and BBM not stating anything about encryption AND the NSA, who is like a stalker hanging out in the bushes watching you and climbing the tree by your bedroom window to watch you sleep like that creeper vampire Edward, from Twilight.

Shit happens when you party naked…but just remember not to be a complete dumbass and get yourself put on ALL the ‘lists’, just be an underachiever and aim for 3, cause that’s a good round number.

BBM for iPhone: *Disclaimer: This nerd DIGS it/nerds Unite!

NSA: *Disclaimer: This nerd DOES NOT DIG it/nerds Unite!

YOU: *Disclaimer: This nerd DIGS it/nerds Unite!– THANKS FOR READING

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