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!