I recently started a postdoc in France. I am not French, do not speak any French yet, and I am new to the culture.
It turns out that all national research institutes in France have a rule against using any foreign online service. All research data and communication must always stay on secure government networks and on French territory. In practice, this means that services like Skype, Dropbox, Gmail, etc. are banned, and we are sometimes reminded of this through the institute's mailing lists (in French only). An article mentioning Skype: https://en.wikinews.org/wiki/France_banning_Skype_from_universities
I find that not being able to use such services seriously hinders my work. I cannot talk to collaborators while at work because they all use Skype, and talking from home is not always convenient (time zones, etc.) I cannot have a shared Dropbox folder with them. I cannot use my online backup service (Backblaze). I cannot forward my emails to a central mailbox (Gmail or other) that I will have access to even after I leave this institute. The institute does not provide easy to use replacements for most of these services. The ones that it does provide don't work well, are limited, inconvenient and unreliable.
The attitude of my colleagues spans a broad spectrum, from "I don't give a damn" to scolding me for wanting to use these services. The attitude of our PI is ambiguous (they aren't really a computer person).
Our work does not require stricter security than usual (i.e. we don't collect personal information, medical data, etc.)
How would you deal with this situation? Complying with the rules would be a hindrance for my work, and would waste time. Not complying may be a risk for me. I am looking for advice from other people who also work in France. I would like to have opinions form people who work in other labs, and also some "cultural advice", as "rule" doesn't mean the same thing in all countries. Since this seems to be a national rule, others must have encountered the same problem.