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It seems like a no-brainer solution, especially to be compliant with the laws of a country in which you do business/

What I don't understand, though, is how this will allow the Saudi government to screen corporate BES accounts...if RIM doesn't have the private key, having a server in-country won't make a difference.
 

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^^^^
One part of intelligence gathering is traffic pattern analysis. Seeing who is talking to who can reveal a lot, even if you can't decrypt the message.
 

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I'm sure I'm not seeing all the details on this or capable of understanding some of the technology behind it, but it seems to me RIM may have stepped over the edge of a slippery slope in an attempt to put volume over quality.

Part of the appeal of RIM as it rose to dominate the business messaging sector (long before it ever deemed it necessary to carry voice as well) was reliability. Blackberries just worked; long battery life, etc. It was only as they proliferated that security became as important and that RIM could offer because all BB traffic moved through only a couple of servers on the planet. This of course caused its own issues when a server failure in Waterloo could stop BBM traffic across North America, but those instances were rare.

Having succumbed to the demands of one dictatorship for a local server, how does RIM say no to the dozens of other like-minded governments, with possibilities of much greater sales, who want to keep an ear and eye open to the local citizenry as well as the expats working in those countries? Will RIM put Saudies on their own server but keep the North Americans living/working in SA on the Waterloo server? Is that possible? How will business users react if they know the local national government has access to all their messages while they negotiate their multi-million dollar deals, just as the local government is listening in on the messages of local youths setting up a clandestine date?

Moreover, multiple servers around the world operated by local staff the governments will no doubt insist RIM hire, will be more prone to system failure than one or two centres operated by engineers engrained in the BB system since their first co-op placement at UofW.

RIM appears to me to have compromised its original purpose and clients in a desperate move to add numbers of users world-wide, look good in comparison to its Android and iOS competitors and, thereby, maintain the value of its shares. It's a strategy that will fail, IMO, rendering RIM shares as valuable as Nortel in a few years.

RIM would be better to stick to its original strength, even if that means "sacrificing" some sales. The corporate sector will gladly pay more for BB service if is is assured the service is reliable and secure and RIM can maintain its revenues/profits, share value.

But if RIM goes for numbers over quality, with new devices which are poor imitations of the competitors (even the most fawning reviews have rated the Torch's display as 5 years out-of-date), it will fail. If you hold RIM shares (which I do not), sell asap.
 

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Distributed systems are inherently more reliable than centralized systems. For example, the failure of one or two worldwide servers could disable Blackberries worldwide. There is also the issue of communications. For example, the failure of a communications link could cause all communications in Eurasia to be disabled, not just communications between Eurasia and The Americas. With a distributed system, if each country or region has its own server, a massive failure in only one country or region would only affect that area.

I also have security and privacy concerns. Blackberry will most likely move their servers out of Canada at some point, most likely the US. Canadian privacy laws do not apply to databases stored outside of Canada. As the leader of a company or country, I would also be concerned about security. What political or business secrets are being stored and mined by RIM or the country where their servers are located and could that data be used or sold to undermine my country or company?
 

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Outinthornhill,

What are you trying to say here? Your first and last paragraph talk about quality, but nothing in the middle supports that. :confused:

The topic of the thread is RIMs approach to satisfying foreign regulatory requirements...
 

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Unless the markets tank tomorrow, don't be surprised if RIM stock rebounds. I don't own it either.

This isn't just about the Middle East and the 1/2 million customers, it's also about a country the size of India threatening the same thing.

The Torch is being regarded as the best Blackberry ever so we'll also see about those comments as well.

The RIM customer and Apple customer are different breeds but that's a topic for another thread.
 

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@ScaryBob - I know what you are saying abut distributed systems and in most cases that would be true. The RIM case is different; RIM has been able to pretty much ensure its quality, reliability and security by keeping the whole operation "close to hand" at its Waterloo headquarters. Sometimes centralization is necessary to achieve the corporate goals.

Once foreign countires start insisting on their own servers and, as they will, their own nationals running the operations it's almost inevitable that things will start to get out of control. When the foreign government says "do it this way" and "let us look at this subscriber's traffic" the local operators will comply, often at risk of long term imrisonment for failure so to do. While the Saudi's first interst seems to be young people arranging dates outside family and religious leaders' scrutiny, you can be certain they are interested in business messaging too. In China the main interest will be in business and political messaging. Other scenarios will play out in other countries.

I don't want to sound like a bigot saying foreigners can't run complex things as well as us Canadians. It's more a case of undertanding the corporate goals and how they are fulfilled and whether the overeas operation has any commitment to the company.
'
 

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outinthornhill - the big thing you're missing (and unfortunately so are most of the media reporting on this story) is that RIM already has agreements in place to grant the Canadian, US and UK governments access to snoop their traffic. SA, UAE, India, and others have simply been asking for (demanding) the same access.

It's certainly debatable that some countries may have more nefarious interests in getting access to that information than others but this was not some big turning point in how RIM treats privacy. Don't kid yourself into thinking your own government can't get access to your private transmissions if they want it.
 

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Distributed systems are inherently more reliable than centralized systems. For example, the failure of one or two worldwide servers could disable Blackberries worldwide. There is also the issue of communications. For example, the failure of a communications link could cause all communications in Eurasia to be disabled, not just communications between Eurasia and The Americas. With a distributed system, if each country or region has its own server, a massive failure in only one country or region would only affect that area.

I also have security and privacy concerns. Blackberry will most likely move their servers out of Canada at some point, most likely the US. Canadian privacy laws do not apply to databases stored outside of Canada. As the leader of a company or country, I would also be concerned about security. What political or business secrets are being stored and mined by RIM or the country where their servers are located and could that data be used or sold to undermine my country or company?
scarybob is right... when RIM's BIS servers go down, we have no e-mail, web, or BBM whatsoever (google RIM BIS outages and see how many we have had in 2010 alone...) I missed a few very important e-mails over the past few years due to servers being down on RIM's end and costing me customers in the long run.

outinthornhill - "@ScaryBob - I know what you are saying abut distributed systems and in most cases that would be true. The RIM case is different; RIM has been able to pretty much ensure its quality, reliability and security by keeping the whole operation "close to hand" at its Waterloo headquarters. Sometimes centralization is necessary to achieve the corporate goals."

RIM doesn't have the greatest track record in this department. at least one day long outage every other month is too much when you lay claim to having a reliable product and wanting full control as RIM does when it comes to data, e-mails and BBM.
 

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The suggestion that RIM has a day-long outage every other month is a total fabrication. Outages at RIM, because media personnel are so attached to their devices and because they are so rare, get immediate coverage. Yes, I carry a Blackberry.

As for the speculation that RIM has agreements in place with the US and Canadian government to intercept messages, well that's all it is - speculation - unless grog is authorised to speak on RIM's behalf. IF they exist, it could mean nothing more than agreement to comply with a lawful court order, which is a far different thing happens in even the least regressive dictatorships and wouldn't include corporate espionage.
 
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