Some ignored issues related to #maharagate
UCPNM (the maoist party of Nepal) leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara’s alleged phone conversation with a Chinese person was leaked a couple of days back. Like always, we have only started to dissect the visible consequence. I want to discuss some ignored issues, which I think, are more important. I will write one issue at a time, editing this post over time:
1. Nepali media has always ignored the importance of technology, despite being warned not to do so. Some people have been asking for proper telecom and internet regulations for many years now. Unwarranted wire-tapping has already been a big issue in developed countries, but also in the recent past in India. Similarly, countries like USA, Russia, Britain, China, India and Pakistan have all seen and been through the cold-war between the USA and the erstwhile USSR when they made maximum usage of technology for espionage. It was many decades ago- technology and these countries have also made big advances since.
But in Nepal, important leaders and even Prime-Ministers accept gifts like watch, mobile phones, bedroom accessories (one past prime minister even accepted an expensive bed as a gift), and so on. Even gifts from foreigners are accepted indiscriminately, and no technical scrutiny is done or security precautions are taken. The vehicles they ride are randomly picked from among the fleet of a foreign-funded hydro-power project. I am sure they don’t use any encryption or protection while conducting their online activities like email too. There are no laws that bind internet-service providers to respect the privacy of its users and sometime back, it was reported (not by the media, but by the tech-circle itself) that the biggest ISP (government-owned) stores the chat-logs of its users in plaintext. Similarly, there are no laws regarding data-protection and safety. Whatever laws there are, they are not implemented and are grossly ignored by everybody, including the media.
Demanding attention to the importance of encryption, espionage techniques used by countries all over the world and asking for proper attention to subjects other than politics (including technology and science) looked like asking for too much in a situation where everybody was happily enjoying the ride they were having.