I’ll admit to being pretty frustrated over all the discussion about how the government should be excluded from a shutdown of Blackberry service in the United States. Partial infrastructure shutdowns are not the answer. If a shutdown is ordered, it should be for all RIM customers with no exclusions. By excluding the government, we are giving the courts a biased leverage that provides an escape clause from rulings that could directly impact them or the federal government.
What next, shut down all power in DC, but the power going to federal buildings. If an infrastructure provides an essential service, it is unrealistic to say that it is only essential to the federal government or that you can reasonably segment non-essestial users from essential users. I know several people that would be impacted by the Blackberry shutdown that provide a lot more “essential” national security services that 99% of the people on the official federal government list. If the court is going to show some teeth, show some real teeth and shut the whole service down and live with the consequences.
For its part, RIM has agreed with the Justice Department that it would be difficult to separate government from private BlackBerry users. In a filing Wednesday, it also argued that public interest in the network extends beyond government users. For example, it said, the financial services industry relies heavily on the devices. BusinessWeek