There is No Free Lunch (Especially in France)

The BBC reports the French security service has told French government officials not to use Blackberries because their data is stored in foreign countries and could be susceptible to prying eyes.

Expect many more such awakenings going forward to the tradeoffs to putting data in the cloud.  Not just national security concerns, but trade secrets, privacy and compliance requirements will all require people to think more explicitly about the risks and tradeoffs of where you put your data and what can happen to it.  Today’s all or nothing approach is a crummy way to do it.

Three contenders for the most amazing part of this story:

  1. They’re just realizing this now?  Did they just figure it out or did some incident precipitate this decision?  There is probably a pretty good spy novel in if you combine this with almost any headlines from France in recent years.
  2. French officials are “flouting the ban”.  I predict the upcoming ban on smoking in public places in France takes “flouting” to a whole new level.
  3. RIM insists the US National Security Agency can’t read content on their service.  Disciples of Taleb might call that epistemological arrogance.