Private sector: government BlackBerry exemption is unfair

Several private-sector BlackBerry users interviewed by Computerworld magazine don't think it's fair for U.S.

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Several private-sector BlackBerry users interviewed by Computerworld magazine don't think it's fair for U.S. government and emergency services workers to be exempted from a shutoff of BlackBerry service.

A shutoff that could come as early as a month from now, when court hearings are held on the patent dispute between BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion and patent-holding company NTP.

Here's what some private sector users had to say:

John Wade, CIO at 500-BlackBerry user St. Luke's Health Care System in Kansas City, Mo.:

“They’re sticking it to private business."

Rick Proctor, vice-president of IT at 45-BlackBerry user Nashville, Tn.-based Christian book publisher Thomas Nelson Inc.: "That’s “not fair to the private sector."  “I understan" the government’s desire for an exemption for mission-critical services, but I imagine that many private-sector companies could make the same argument.”

John Halamka, CIO of 500-BlackBerry user Harvard Medical School: “Private-sector users have the same security and critical operations issues as government workers." Shutting down the RIM network for anyone seems like an extreme measure.”

Frank Gillman, technology director of Los Angeles-based law firm Allen Matkins LLP: “How in God’s green Earth would they pull that off? I would think the carriers would not be happy about that at all, letting some but not all off the hook.”

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