Friday, May 30, 2008

I am what I am. But am I free to be?

So I am what I am.
And I am what I chose to be
But I am not that at all times.
or in all places.
Or for all people,
I am different, yet I am same.
There is growth and simultanoeus constancy.
But it's good as long as I am FREE to be.
But am I truly free?

30 May 08. Musings.

Cops, digital clues and cultural bias

A news report by CNN-IBN raises the issue of whether the police force in India are actually competent enough to evaluate electronic evidence and its significance to a crime.

The report speculates that policing does not take into account new cultural tastes and behaviour (influenced by the global technological age) and goes so far as to make an allegation that the police may be weighing the evidence according to their personal moral values (read traditionally acquired).

Take for instance, traditionally, Indian unmarried women (and even married women) did not and still do not (openly) maintain "relationships" with men they are not normally associated with in the course of their personal lives. What happens in the case where a girl has ten male friends seeking friendship or partners in her 'Friends List' in her social networking profile? Or has emails from random male members of the social networking community in her Inbox?

Or what happens when the police discover in their course of their investigations that a suspect belong to a homosexual community? (Same sex relations are legally still a crime and punishable as an unnatural offence under Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code with imprisonment and a fine (though attempts are being made to get section 377 to be “read down” to exclude adult consensual sex from within its purview and though the Law Commission in 2001 recommended its repeal, backed by the Union ministry of family and child welfare in 2006).

It is a matter of “wait and watch,” to see how this will pan out.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Why ID cards aren't the new "cool"

Two reports show why simply having identity cards isn't the new "in".

In the first, identity cards were taken away (read appropriated) by goons ahead of Gram Panchayat Elections.

In the second, it led to pro-India activists being shot.

There's loads more like this.

But will the implementors listen?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

So, what's it with us and databases ? Maybe the InfoCom needs to pre-vet databases.

It is so disappointing that society has got to a point where every problem can be sorted with DATA in a DATABASE. Seems like if you have a problem, what you need is a database - whatever's happened to intelligence ?

Ok. I'm peeved with recent news that employers will share a database of workers which will be used for vetting prospective employees and companies like Harrods, Selfridges, Reed Managed Services and Mothercare are alleged to have signed up to the scheme.

I won't even go into the nitty gritty.

Of course, the "private" database will propose to comply with DP laws and practice.

Who makes these stupid decisions about setting up databases?

Perhaps the Information Commissioner can set up some procedure for PRE-VETTING prospective databases. Anyone who wants to sent up a database should apply to the InfoCommr and while I understand this would be a daunting task in terms of resources and convenience, it would serve to deter those bureaucrats that put our lives at risk of being compromised.