Sunday, January 25, 2009

A cyber law?

I was watching news on the local TV and came to know that the communication minister thinks that a cyber law is the most needed for the IT industry. I can understand this coming out of a lawyer. This kind of gave me the impression that we are all criminals. Is this the most important thing? What about the crimes committed by the government. Why does he not address that?

Yes CRIMES. Using pirated software and no respect to intellectual property rights in this nation. Who will address them or are they covered in this so called 'cyber law'?. What are we doing to contribute to this industry, who is taking responsibility in building this?

Selling computers, mouse, and couple of servers does not create an IT industry in the Maldives. Keep aside the job of building a proper IT industry which is creative, responsible and most importantly profitable we don't even have the basics covered. Simple IT policies and procedures in the government. Over spending on "Big IT projects" is famous in Maldives. Hardly anyone gives a rats ass on these issues and here we are talking about a cyber law. This was frustrating to me, specially this coming out of the communication minister. I feel the cyber laws and all is important but it should not be the priority right now. If the law enforcement sector like the police and AG took this up I can understand. Now I don't, specially having an idea on where we are on the IT sector.

I feel the ministry of economical development, ministry of finance along with the communication ministry should give more importance to building a better IT industry. Maybe they do not have a clue on the potential of this industry. Maybe people think fixing the computers, setting up a printer, etc is the only IT. They are dead wrong. IT/technology industry can be made a real profitable industry if planned well and supported. We could be exporting technology and making good fortune out of this, which can compete with the tourism industry and the fishing industry. Yes! I believe this can be achieved. Sri Lanka is already doing it, India is a big player, why can't we. We don't need oil wells, and diamond mines to achieve this. So why is no one bothered. Why don't our leaders have this vision and the faith in our people.

Presently we have no respect for technology. None of the audit reports shows that the government is steeling from software vendors. We don't budget for software and we take them for granted. This leads to a lot of problem and people take technology for granted, they don't see the potential in it. On top of all it's ethically wrong. Good governance means we should also respect things like this, and a proper IT infrastructure which is well planed is important for good governance. Which is totally ignored now!


naseeh said...

Totally agree.

jaa said...

So true man. And with the increasing number of academically trained, qualified and entrepreneurial people around, there probably hasn't been a better time for the government to encourage an IT industry in the country...

AL Mode said...

have you guys read the drafted bill for" Nahama gothugai computer beynunu kurun huttuvunuge qanoon" its good laugh .

Hilath said...

Very true.

The problem may be that we have for a minister who may not be much into IT stuff. I believe that a person who has technically "drowned" in IT, science and technology stuff can have an idea of the potential and greatness of this area.

I am not tech-savvy myself by the way so this is how I feel about it.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you!

chopey said...

NCIT was requesting feedback on this 'Computer Misuse Act (Draft)' below was my comments..

Dear Sir / Madam,

Among the many concerns that I have over this proposed computer misuse act, I would like to highlight the importance of integrity of the data under the custody of law enforcement and government bodies. Furthermore the act does not define how the law enforcement agencies will gain access into the "programs/data". My concern here again is can these agencies try to gain access into private data remotely or via other means or is the scope of such investigation only limited to "programs/data", computers under the custody of such agencies?. Though we are talking of computer misuse, we also should consider the rights of the civilians (privacy).

I am also concerned about the data under the control of the investigators which can be corrupted, deleted or amended by them. How do we ensure that this can be prevented. Today data is important to individuals and business, there have been many incidences in the past where the Maldives Police Services have taken computers, CD/DVD, Portable Hard drives, USB Flash drives , etc and were never returned or data have been corrupted.

Furthermore under 14 (noonu), I feel there is a mistake which referrers to access data which is "decrypted" on computers. Maybe this was meant to be "encrypted data". As if the data is decrypted you already have access to them, and only when they are encrypted you need to decrypt them.

I also feel before individuals are prosecuted under this act there should be subsidence evidence that the convicted party was involved in such an act. There have been no details brought on this subject. If an individual is being accused of such acts, he government should produce enough technical evidence to prove that the concerned/accused was/is guilty. Example authentic log files, digital finger prints, etc. Presently this act gives the law enforcement agencies to frame or in justly accusing and convicting civilians.

My view on this regard is that before such acts can be implemented the government needs to enforce and implement polices and procedures in the technical fields. Which will set standards to security levels and procedures, etc. I understand that this is out of the scope of the subject so I will not express further on this.

Thank you

Kind regards

Sofwathullah Mohamed (A033376).