Government shutdown shuts down BlackBerrys

As if BlackBerry didn't have enough problems, the company might now find some of its most loyal customers out of commission. With the US government shut down, many federal employees might have to power down their cellphones.

Politico quotes a letter from the House Administration Committee to nonessential House employees: “Due to legal requirements, working in any way during a period of furlough (even as a volunteer) is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. To avoid violating this prohibition, we strongly recommend that you turn your BlackBerrys off for the duration of the furlough.”

The prohibition could apply to dot-gov email accounts as well. Politico notes that the last time the government shut down (18 years ago), smartphones did not exist and email was in its infancy.

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