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More comment on fire alarm signals routed outside the USA
December 1, 2023
More comment on fire alarm signals routed outside the USA from article on November 13, 2023
            I, too, was concerned when I read a previous blog on foreign cell modules. Since Bulgaria keeps getting mentioned, I assume that the manufacturer that everyone is speaking of, is M2M. Their fire module was sold to Honeywell but I believe that the service still goes through their network. As a result of everyone's concern, I asked them to explain where our signals travel from customer to central station.
            They informed me that their servers, for the US, are housed in Georgia and no signal leaves the continental US. Obviously, I have no way to verify this, but I would assume that one could get verification through UL.
Stan Corn,
Alarms, Inc
            We actually heard from M2M in the article circulated on November 6, 2023.  M2M's president advised that:
            " While it is true we have engineering and manufacturing in Bulgaria, the services we operate are designed to operate using servers in the geography where the system is installed. We have even pointed our backup/redundancy servers to these US facilities. In rare cases, it was possible for some devices to use Bulgarian servers in the past. This is no longer the case."
            The unanswered questions however concern the "what if" scenario.  Would signals or data traveling around the world actually put those signals, and consequently the alarm dealer and customer, at added risk?  That question I do not have an answer for. 
            Communication pathways have been beyond the control of the alarm industry, other than the AES radios [not sure if there are other radio networks that the dealer would own] so disclaiming responsibility and liability for communication pathway failure is nothing new.  In that sense it wouldn't matter where the signals bounced.  That, however, changes if the alarm dealers knows or has reason to believe that some signals are less reliable than others.  We saw this when POTS lines were replaced with digital VoIP services. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol and is a collection of digital technologies that enable voice calls to be delivered via an Internet connection. 
We know that radio or cell service may not be reliable in certain locations, so using those communication pathways would be a poor choice.
            We know that the US government will not permit its facilities to be monitored by central stations outside the US and will not permit operators to be located outside the US.  I don't know if that extends to VOIP signals traveling beyond US borders.  And, while the Standard Form Agreements should protect you from mistakes, they may not if the mistake is gross negligence or willful misconduct.  That is not to suggest that devices or services with signals outside the US would fall into that category; that is your call as the alarm expert. 

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301