Wired news makes a very good point this week in their analysis of the state of the art in India.
On the one hand, India has become everybody’s favourite place to outsource their tech support, and, issues of U.S. job drain aside, with good reason. Indian culture puts a high premium on academic achievment and intellectual pursuits, and thus has a very high density of smart, bright, on-the-ball young tech professionals. Who can, of course be had for a comparative song, which brings us back to the issue of U.S. job drain, which we are leaving aside.
On the other hand, however, where the technical prowess of this generation can be said to be almost prosaic, their law enforcement system’s grasp of computer technology in general, and the Internet in particular, is nothing short of a comedy of errors.
You may recall that at the end of last year Aunty reported that the CEO of an Indian auction portal had been arrested because a user had put pornographic material up for auction on the site. Not the user who listed the illicit material. The CEO of the site, who by no account had anything whatsoever to do with the material, the listing, or the user who listed it.
Well, dear readers, that was just the tip of the iceberg.
How about police who go on raids to confiscate computers, and seize the monitors, but leave the CPUs and drives behind? (Carpe diode!)
Or the technology investor who was not allowed to register a company named “Pinstorm Online” because the Registrar of Companies was unable to grasp that one could conduct business online? He not only had to change the name of his company, but he had to doctor his application by changing references to “the Internet” to “a computer network” because the officials did not believe the Internet was a “credible medium for business”.
But Aunty’s favourite is the police officers who made a bust involving pirated software, and seized floppy disks as evidence… and stapled them together.
Of course while this is in some sense amusing, it leads one to wonder…with such bright technical minds, and such abjectly poor policing of technical fouls..is India ripe to become a major hotbed of computer crime?
Let’s hope not.