Is RIM's Server placement in Saudi Arabia the tipping point for server placement based on politics?

The media has been covering the RIM Blackberry in Saudi Arabia, speculating on shutting down the service.  The easy answer is put a blackberry server in Saudi Arabia, the problem is does RIM want to take on the costs to run blackberry servers in another country.  The alternative is lose revenue.

This was bound to happen at some point, and if RIM is smart they'll negotiate an increase in subscription fees to cover the costs of running servers in Saudi Arabia or just consider the costs part of selling in other countries.

MSNBC has an article on the deal between Saudi Arabia and RIM.

Saudi says deal reached on BlackBerry services

Agreement lets government monitor wireless message traffic

advertisement | ad info


A Saudi customer is served in a mobile shop at a market in the capital Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010. Some Saudis are trying to sell their BlackBerrys ahead of a ban on the smart phone's messenger service in the kingdom _ but with few willing to buy, they're having to slash prices. (AP Photo)


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia and the makers of the BlackBerry smartphone have reached a deal on accessing users' data that will avert a ban on the phone's messenger service, a Saudi official said Saturday.

The agreement, involving placing a BlackBerry server inside Saudi Arabia, would allow the government to monitor users' messages and allay official fears the service could be used for criminal purposes, the official said.

The deal could have wide-ranging implications for several other countries, including India and the United Arab Emirates, which have expressed similar concerns over how BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd., handles data.

An interesting question for the data center industry is where are the Blackberry servers going to be placed?  Who owns the data center?  Who has access?

Unfortunately, the deployment of additional servers in countries is most likely not very green for the RIM data center group as centralizing the resources is much more efficient. The plane flights from RIM HQ to Riyadh will increase the carbon footprint as well.

But as cell phone technology matures is it inevitable that country politicians want web services to be in their country.

Who is next?  Facebook, Twitter, Google?

The experienced data center executives take into account political environments in data center placement.

Do you?