Tag: Internet

Internet Filtering Coming To Mauritius Soon?


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…

Seacom goes live, connects Mauritius?


That’s the latest news on submarine cables that come near Africa.

I have read before that there was some buzz about the Seacom cable connecting Mauritius in 2009, and will offer even higher speed internet to our small island.

The BBC reports that the Seacom cable has gone live! What does this mean to Mauritius? Higher internet speed soon? Lower costs?

But first things first. Are we even connected to the cable? From the picture, it connects to the SAFE cable that connects to Mauritius. Does that mean we are connected? I haven’t heard any news about this. I’ve looked in the newspapers I have available, and haven’t found anything recently, unless I missed some small article somewhere.

The last I heard about Seacom cable was that it was having some troubles because of the pirates in the region. Nothing on Mauritius getting connected to it so far.

The most relevant article I found was from L’Express, dated 15 January 2009. It does mention that there are 5 submarine cables being laid in our region, and that we will “benefit” from those cables. There’s another article with nearly same content, again from L’Express, for those who want reading material.

For now, we’ll patiently wait for the next speed boost while keeping the price same.

What are your views on this matter? Do you think we’ll see any boost or benefit anytime soon?

Africa Submarine Cables

New ISP in Mauritius soon?


Internet Speed

Or so L’Express Newspaper claims.

The offer seems interesting. They, yes “they” since the article doesn’t mention what ISP it will be, but I suspect it will be Outremer Telecom, since it’s already in Mauritius. There is no confirmation yet, so it’s just my supposition.

Continue Reading »

Google turns 10, Wants to help people with $10m



September marks the 10th anniversary of the godlike search engine Google, repository-of-the-Internets-and-universal-knowledge *bows*. However, the exact date seems to be a variable! More info on that at Techcrunch.

*Google opened its doors in September 1998. The exact date when we celebrate our birthday has moved around over the years, depending on when people feel like having cake. For more on Google’s history:

Source: Google Support

The folks with the “Don’t be evil” motto want to celebrate their creation’s birthday by helping the world. So? They have launched a project called “Project 10 to the 100th”, or Project 10100. Quite a Googlish-name if you ask me!

Basically, you suggest some ideas that will help the greatest number of people possible, in any way possible (or so I guess). Then, you go on that website above, and post it there. You may even post a 30-seconds video to back your concepts.

Then? Google has put aside $10 million to kickstart the Top 5 ideas it receives. The public will be able to short select 20 semi-finalist ideas, and a board will select the Top 5 out of those.

There are a number of categories in which you can participate, which are (as listed on the Project 10100 page):

  • Community: How can we help connect people, build communities and protect unique cultures?
  • Opportunity: How can we help people better provide for themselves and their families?
  • Energy: How can we help move the world toward safe, clean, inexpensive energy?
  • Environment: How can we help promote a cleaner and more sustainable global ecosystem?
  • Health: How can we help individuals lead longer, healthier lives?
  • Education: How can we help more people get more access to better education?
  • Shelter: How can we help ensure that everyone has a safe place to live?
  • Everything else: Sometimes the best ideas don’t fit into any category at all.

That’s basically it. Now you can go suggest some ideas if you have some, or pass the message around. The closing date for ideas submission is 20th October!

Time for some fun. If you want to know how Google was born, bred and evolved, you can check out this interesting timeline of what Google’s been up to in the last 10 years. Here’s Google’s Tenth Birthday page too.

Seriously, I can’t imagine life online without Google. It’s been saving my rear for the last 10 years now! A big thanks and:


Orange UK sees subscribers leave


The Register has an article about Orange UK’s subscribers leaving it for other, more juicy ISP offers. Here’s the article:

Customers are continuing to desert Orange’s ADSL offerings, the firm’s results revealed today.

In the six months to 30 June 44,000 net broadband subscribers quit the firm, leaving it with 1.06 million. Orange said its UK broadband customer base was “levelling off”, but figures released in February showed that just 4,000 net subscribers were lost in the last three months of 2007. On its own numbers, Orange’s decline is accelerating.

Despite the toughening economic conditions, the rest of the big six ISPs have maintained the positive trend in their customer base as the market approaches saturation. Orange has claimed that its failure to capitalise on market growth is a deliberate strategy to allow it to sort out problems with its network.

Revenues for the UK Home Communication Services unit, which also includes fixed line voice telephony, fell 7.7 per cent. Much of the sales slide was due to the industry-wide decline in traditional home telephone usage. The proportion of margin-boosting unbundled ADSL lines rose from 23 per cent last year to 40 per cent, however.

I’m not very surprised though, considering the huge amounts of complaints made by Orange users in Mauritius.

Well, I hope that this “exodus” of subscribers as The Register termed it will influence the folks at Orange MU to offer some better services instead of low speed connections (megabit for the masses is a dream!) and weird capping and monitoring policies.

Comments please?

DCL to introduce Wireless Internet in Mauritius




I found this interesting article in Le Mauricien today, and I thought I might share it with you folks, if ever you may have missed it.

As you can read, it’s about DCL (Data Communications Ltd.) introducing a wireless Internet connection here in Mauritius. Nothing surprising here, since you might say that Network Plus’ Nomad is already here.

Even I say the same thing, and we all know that whatever the ads may say, Nomad still has some problems in some regions of Mauritius. Can’t blame them if Mauritius is a mountainous country, and if wireless signals can’t go through mountains so well.

Due to the short length of the article, not much details are provided just yet. It appears to be long-range, but there are no details about the underlying technology, for example whether it’s WiMax or something like that.

What is mentioned is “haut débit” which I hope is better than the 256K and 512K that we currently have now (for users like me, megabit is out of price!). I wouldn’t mind a megabit, wireless connection if it’s fairly priced and uncapped (or high cap).

Another good thing. The creation of DCL Telecoms, so this could probably indicate the coming in of another ISP on the national market. DCL was already there, and it’s just that the company *might* dedicate more efforts to Internet now. This is just my opinion, huh! 😛

There is not much info now, so let’s wait and see what happens, and if ever the project can survive.

The end of privacy on the Internet?


CCTV Cameras

A number of recent events occurring over the Internet prompted me to write this article. What were these events about? Well, if you want to know, they are about privacy decreasing over the Internet. Most users think that while they are online, they are nameless and faceless; One among the millions or billions of users and that they can do pretty much what they want.

Guess again buddy! In fact, I’d go as far as to say you are never anonymous over the Internet. Why? There is always your IP address. Hide it via a proxy you say? Your ISP still has your record, and if ever your proxy is not totally reliable, then you could easily be found.

I’ll be talking about the decreasing levels of privacy. “The Internet is an unregulated network with free-flow of Information”, or so the definition says. Is it really true? Not according to me. Do you consider bandwidth regulation schemes, commonly known as “bandwidth capping” to be unregulated flow of information?

You are not allowed to use some services at some times of the day, by some ISPs. That’s a lot of some’s, but it’s there. P2P throttling is becoming increasingly common among ISPs who are seeing their bandwidth being swamped with P2P traffic. This violates the basic philosophy of a free-flow of information, right?

But let’s see what the Japanese have to say when it comes to how they use the Internet.

We know that the Japanese are very good when it comes to high-speed Internet, with something like 100Mbps available at around $45 per month. We also know that Fair-Usage Policies were introduced by Orange in Mauritius, giving you a download-capping of around 10GB a month, or so we guessed. Guess what the Japan ISP, NTT did. They implemented an upload-capping of (!!) 30GB per day! Downloads, of course, are still unlimited. Ok… *shocked* Read more here.

Now for the decreasing privacy topic. Starting with the most recent now, let’s see flagrant cases of what I’d call “invasion of privacy” but which authorities seem to consider “normal”. You be the judge.

Read the rest of the article