“It’s a snafu, honest!”

January 6th, 2011|

BAHRAINI authorities yesterday claimed to have blocked a number of websites and blogs by mistake.

The Information Affairs Authority (IAA) claimed a technical error resulted in blocking of several sites, but said in a statement it was fixing the problem.

[...]

She said her site www.sillybahrainigirl.blogspot.com was blocked on Tuesday after being incorrectly categorised as pornographic, but she was told during a meeting at the IAA yesterday that it would soon be accessible.

GDN

Oh yes, we believe that. What’s worse I wonder, their ignorance of how the Internet filters work after spending tens if not hundreds of thousands of Dinars on them, leaving these systems to be configured and run remotely by a foreign power, or this blatant convoluted lie they’ve thrown into the press this morning quoted within the same article above that:

“The increasing number of blogs and websites indicates freedom of expression in the country,” it said.

Huh? There are almost no bloggers left! They’ve either migrated to Facebook or Twitter or evaluated the situation far too tenuous, fickle and dangerous to continue to expose their personal thoughts especially after the apprehension and alleged torture of our dear friend Ali Abdulemam?

If they did really respect freedom of expression, Ali Abdulemam would have never been apprehended, and the thousands of sites blocked at their whimsical behest would have been unblocked. So spare us the violins, we’ve heard this broken record over and over again.

But then wait… while the Information Authority (neé Ministry of Disinformation) is “doing us a favour” and unblocking Amira’s blog, their next door neighbour (by coincidence of course!) the information intelligence agency, which is imaginatively named the Central Informatics Organisation / CIO – has come out in a press conference reported in the very same paper today assuring us that it spending BD800,000 in creating a “single login architecture” for every citizen wishing to access the various government websites and services, will be presumably secure enough too, and hopefully not require too much remote tweaking by the Singaporean vendors.

BD800,000 – that’s 2.1 million greenbacks to the uninitiated – will solve a problem which has never existed! Talk about fixing something that ain’t broke.

I guess as the new new National Authentication Framework – aka, NAF (seriously? did they even look up this unfortunate acronym up?)’s going to:

“The whole purpose of this project is to unify e-services by providing a single authentication profile for users,” Cabinet Affairs Minister Shaikh Ahmed bin Ateyatala Al Khalifa told a Press conference at the Mšvenpick Hotel yesterday.

I thought we had the much vaulted CPR number for that, didn’t we? Or is that old hat now and requires some re-engineering, maybe put in yet another uber-spy-chip to make us feel even more secure? What’s wrong with us using our CPR numbers to access those so called services? Didn’t they spend a humengous amount with yet another foreign firm to bring out these new chipped CPR cards which were supposedly going to be the be-all and end-all for personal transactional processing, even – listen to this – using the card to log in to services using the very same chip introduced?

Whatever.

We’ll probably see these schemes mentioned in next year’s Audit Report… along with yet another brand new unneeded scheme dreamt up by the CIO (or a good salesman maybe) to the tune of hundreds of thousands of Dinars.

Flogging the dead horse

September 22nd, 2010|

Bahrain’s Information Affairs Authority (IAA) is to get a hi-tech overhaul to boost its edge and bring it up to international standards. [source]

What? AGAIN?!

Isn’t it high time to just bury the carcass and be done with it? Shall I count the number of times this particular call was made and the amount of money spent on it to “bring it to international standards” in the past couple of decades? Jeeze, this bloody television station must be the most invested in in the history of broadcast and it’s still a completely unwatched and unwatchable station. And when it is watched, on those rare occasions, we see it being either completely unprofessional, or pouring fuel on sectarian tensions in this country.

So who benefits from these perpetual calls to flog the dead horse then?

Mo exotic “experts” most probably, and let the local companies die on the wayside because, well, because they’re local (say that last word again while pinching your nose as if you smelt something really nasty) and don’t have the necessary experience. I’m not sure how they’re supposed to ever get that experience if the wealth of the country gets syphoned off to exotic experts and their suggested foreign companies. But, that’s how the cookie crumbles I guess.

So…

“The media must take advantage of the liberties in the prosperous era of His Majesty King Hamad to promote national unity and combat wrong ideas,” he [HRH the PM] said.

I wouldn’t hold my breath your royal highness. I’m afraid – with all due respect, sir – that with the current structure and constitution of that organ, it is an unachievable goal. The events of the last couple of months alone are ample examples of their failures and are innumerable to mention here again.

You would; however, quite easily achieve that goal by shutting down the IAA including the not-so-illustrious BRTC and open up the airwaves for independent radio and television channels to be established here. If you do, I can guarantee that you will unleash such a wave of creativity which will make this country the envy of the region. We have the talent, the will and the experience to show the whole world what Bahrain and Bahrainis are really about. Just give us a chance to prove it. You won’t be sorry and you would’ve saved good money from being thrown after bad.