Summary Box: BlackBerry outages spread to NAmerica

THE DEVELOPMENT: An outage of email, messaging and Internet services on BlackBerry phones spread to the U.S. and Canada and stretched into the third day for Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa.

THE CONTEXT: It was the biggest outage in years for BlackBerry users and strained their relationship with an already tarnished brand.

THE CAUSE: Research In Motion Ltd., which makes the phones, says a crucial link in its European infrastructure failed Monday, and a backup didn’t work either. The underlying problem has been fixed, but a backlog of emails and messages has built up.