Category: News

Internet Filtering Coming To Mauritius Soon?

by
Inf

I have found an interesting article coming from Le Mauricien newspaper of Friday 21st of May. You can see a shot below.

It deals with some measures ICTA (Information Communication Technology Authority) wishes to introduce or see implemented. While some are laudable, such as promotion of ICT as education tools and enhancing performance of communication systems, the last part of the article ticks off my Paranoia Alarm.

The shot of the scary paragraph, with highlighted portions can be seen below.

Well, what do I see? ICTA wants to implement Internet filtering in Mauritius.

I remember Ex-President, Mr. Cassam Uteem’s wish to see some pages of Facebook blocked due to some offensive content. There have also been past instances of Facebook being blocked in Mauritius, for example, due to the usurpation of our PM’s identity to create a profile. These cases may have warranted a blocking of the incriminating pages, but I doubt censorship was the only possible solution.

Now imagine if our local politicians or authorities have the power to block sites at a whim. Tomorrow, Mr. X doesn’t like a parody video of his speech on Youtube, and the site is blocked? No thanks!

Something strikes me as funny in this article: “the idea is not to implement censorship”. Can somebody enlighten me about the difference between “filtering” and “censorship”? I thought that content that was filtered out was censored. Am I wrong?

Giving censorship powers to a Government is too much in my opinion. The Internet should be a free-flow of information, and not to be controlled by anybody. I agree that there are some content that deserve censorship, but I believe it’s best left to its users to know what should be accessed and what should not. Such situations exist in real-life too. There are some places in cities where it is dangerous to go. However, I do not see any barriers erected to prevent people, especially children from going there. So why should this apply to the Internet?

If parents do not want their kids accessing unauthorized contents, well, they can be educated into how to implement filtration software on their machines locally. Or make the government-filtering opt-in. So people who want to see the Internet filtered can install software locally to do the job, with the use of a Government-managed database. Others can continue using the Internet as they see fit, taking their responsibilities if ever they are caught doing nasty stuff.

On a side note, we see the Internet from the social and crowd aspect nowadays. You have social networking, social bookmarking, social music discovery, social-tea-making, social-what-not. Why not social filtering? I have no idea how this would work, but hey, we do democratic voting to elect out leaders, we could do some democratic voting on what we want off the Internet too right?

I leave you to the views and your comments…

Swine Flu in Mauritius: A Tale of Mismanagement

by
Inf

By now, all Mauritius should be aware that there is Swine Flu – AH1N1 in Mauritius, and that there have been more than 5 deaths. I might be blogging this article a bit late, but I wanted to keep a record for myself, and everybody else about how this crisis was handled. I shouldn’t say “was” I think, since the worse may still have yet to come. But anyway, let’s be optimist for a tiny fraction of a second, and keep the “was” there.

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Summer time in Mauritius: Pointless?

by
Inf

At least this is my opinion. You may no agree with me, but after reading this article, maybe I’ll be able to convince you. First, let me tell you that I’m against this measure, even if I’m for the saving of energy and protection of the environment. But summer time? I’m totally rejecting that idea.

What’s the summer time concept basically? In Mauritius, we’ll be moving our clocks forward by one hour. That is, if it’s actually 6 a.m in the morning, our clocks will be showing 7 a.m. This means that people waking up at 6 a.m (without summer time) will wake up 1 hour earlier. You go to work 1 hour earlier, and return 1 hour earlier. This also means (in theory) that you will get to use daylight for 1 more hour per day instead of using electricity.

(DST will apply from 26th October to 29th March at midnight for both).

But according to me, it’s not that simple. Let’s see the case against, since the Government and others are already hammering us all with the case for.

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Congrats Bruno Julie!

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Inf

Bruno Julie Punches!

As a fellow Mauritian, it is my duty to congratulate the Mauritian Magician (or the Creole Crusher, or The Dark Horse, …). He is a man of many nicknames, but with an undeniably powerful punch. Powerful enough to bring Mauritius it’s FIRST Olympic medal.

Bronze it is, but a medal is a medal. It’s value is no less. And this man got it! You have shown the entire world that Mauritius exists on the world map, no matter how small our island is.

The apparent hit below the belt, the controversial judge decision has prevented you from bringing us the Silver medal, but we know you would have won anyways. We know it. The commentators know it. For us, you won! It’s a good start. A very good start indeed!

So CONGRATULATIONS to

BRUNO JULIE!

Budget 2008-2009: Points of Interest

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Inf

As you probably know, the 2008-2009 budget was presented today by Dr. Rama Sithanen. So for this post, I’ll be dissecting the budget to see what truly concerns students and people involved in IT in general. There are not many sections about these. According to me, if I had to resume the whole budget in one key phrase, it would be “The Poor’s Budget”. If you read the budget speech, available here, you will notice how many times the words “poor”, “needy” or “poverty” are mentioned! It’s just astounding!

So, Mr. Speaker Sir, I will now move on to dissecting the speech, and putting up the relevant sections, which according to me, are most relevant to the title. Of course, if you found anything worthy of being added or something that interests you in the speech, you can still post it via comments and I’ll add it here. Here goes:

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Orange FAQ Updated: More details on FUP?

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Inf

It seems I’m always late with catching up the latest news updates! ๐Ÿ™

Anyways, according to TheMediaGuru, the Orange FAQ, particularly the sections on FUP (Fair Usage Policy) have been updated. They can be accessed here. Bear with me for the long analysis. This will probably be the last FUP article for a while, since I’m kind of tired about writing on the same subject over and over, specially when we are dealing with unreasonable limits, and unfair practices.

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Orange FUP in News on Sunday!

by
Inf

Finally, the issues about FUP have hit the local newspapers! Guru just sent me a scan of the article, and here it is, for you to feast on!

This article brought me out of my temporary blogging hibernation (due to exam), but had to blog on it! I couldn’t resist! I must thank News On Sunday for publishing the article and Yannick Rivet for reading Mauritian blogs, and considering our opinions. At least, we now know that Mauritian bloggers are being taken seriously!

OrangeFUP Newspaper

Btw… Congrats CarrotMadMan! Your title (Stab in the back) goes to print! ๐Ÿ˜€

Here is Mr. Avinash Meetoo’s heavily commented and discussed post about FUP. I’m really sorry since I forgot mentioning this great article.