Monday, March 21, 2005

Privacy laws

There's an article written by Declan McCullagh on about privacy legislation. Here's the link:


Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Blogging for the Public Good

I've been trying to think up of ways to use blogging as a tool to promote the public good. By "public good", I mean something as mundane as keeping an area free from litter or as noble as fighting corruption within government.

I have a few ideas on how to proceed:

First, the blog should focus on one small idea or task. That way the content will be tight. But the small task or idea must be tied to a broader public policy issue.

Second, the blog should be open to as many people who want to contribute. That way we can leverage the power of the Net to do some good. Mobile blogging will be especially relevant now that there are so many people with camera phones.

Third, we should have a way to verify facts or some other mechanism to ensure the blog's credibility. If the blog has bogus info, people won't tune in.

Fourth, the blog owner and contributors must be free from legal harassment (i.e., libel suits) or at least the risk must be studied beforehand.

Fifth, the blog should include a mix of criticism and praise in pursuing the objective.

So, here's my idea -- a blog that keeps track of compliance with separate smoking areas required under the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003. Contributors will take pictures of establishments and other places to see if the smoking area is "not in the same room as a non-smoking area." I've observed that compliance with this provision is not consistent. For example, in one QC restaurant I visited, they were in flagrant violation but other places like Seattle's Best along T. Morato had complied to the letter. The idea is to draw attention to the issue and hopefully provide law enforcement officers with evidence to encourage these establishments to follow the law.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

CICT Software Industry Consultation

Partly to comply with the ICT Roadmap GMA is requiring of the CICT, Commissioner Dondi Mapa held a consultation session this afternoon with representatives of the software industry. It was, I think, a good session -- full of enthusiastic participation from well-meaning individuals. I left the meeting with the sense that the CICT (or at least Commr. Mapa) is intent on doing all things possible (with limited resources) to move the whole ICT sector forward. I wish him the best and hope that good things come from these efforts.

I took some notes of the meeting.

ON SECTOR CONSULTATION: The goal is to meet with different sectors once a quarter. Both sides identify their expectations, set priorities, review results and monitor programs. This will be an iterative process.

THE ICT ROADMAP: The President is asking for the ICT Roadmap sooner rather than later. Other sectors (energy, tourism, etc) have roadmaps already and the ICT roadmap is focused on job creation and number of access points. The President set the targets based on recommendations of Secs. Purisima and Neri. Job creation target for ICT is 800,000 jobs by 2010.

The main output of the consultation is the following "wishlist" of tasks that may be undertaken by the government or CICT for the industry.


Make OJT a requirement for IT-related courses

Giving preference for SMEs - by defining smaller pieces of work
Gov't code be public domain -
Tax incentives for non-PEZA zone locators
Use of Open Technology/Standard
Architecture for Gov't Systems
Procurement Policy Board to clairfy standards & requirements

Use gov't requirements to develop track record
Gov't-Academe-Private coordination for standards
Stop people piracy
Follow-up on R&D efforts of government agencies
Encourage SMEs to get CMM certified plus have CMM consultants to certify
**Gov't should set the vision for the industry**

IT certification - Nat'l ICT certification program (to lower vendor certification exam)
IT certification can take the place of OJT
**Entry-level concerns (i.e., quality of college graduates)
Masters/Phd requirement
Gov't to develop CMM consultants
Language courses for IT workers

emulate Thailand
**Consolidate data in one place (website) - centralized industry portal
Publicize case studies
Multilingual marketing for gov't
**Focus on US and Japanese markets
Organize SMEs and freelance programmers
**ICT Focused Promotions

Items with "**" are prioritized for action by the CICT.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Criminalizing Spam in the Philippines reports that the proposed Cybercrime Bill will include provisions penalizing spam. I haven't seen the latest version of the Bill and if I recall correctly, the proposed measure will apply to all types of information systems, including SMS. Does this mean that the cellphone companies can be held criminally liable for those unsolicited text messages that people receive from time to time?

Of Trademarks, Google and Geico

See Susan Crawford's post regarding the Google-Geico case. I've weighed in as well. This is an interesting development in Trademark Law which I hope the court will resolve by recognizing the unique character of the Web. After all, all this trademark expansionism must end, at least on the web.


I just set up the blog a few minutes ago and have invited everyone else to join in. This is a first for us and I hope it works out.

Good luck to us!