The standard definition of IT… the branch of engineering that deals with the use of computers and telecommunications to retrieve, store and transmit information is no longer concrete. The meaning to me soun obsolete and does not serve the full purpose of what IT has dwelled itself into.
I was reading an article published in The Economist which illustrated and emphasized in great depth the consequences and power of the logic bomb. The logic bomb as they call it can be triggered by sitting at A and firing it from B. For instance, a financial collapse at Wall Street can be achieved by messing up their computer systems by someone smart enough to crack through the highly transmitted codes (Do not get ideas, China). Decades ago, KGB spies and their counterparts the CIA were proactively involved in a series of you kill one I kill two counter effective strategies to nail the other. Although, the subject at the time was a big hit, with Michael Caine cashing in with a lucratively successful career with his intensely amusing outfits (Rayban shades, Moustaches, leather coats and multiple disguises), the matter is somewhat of a memento. Today, the super hero or villain (whatever suits you better) presses a button in Casablanca which ripples the heart of New York sending shockwaves big enough to bring the city down.
Yes, you guessed it right…Chariots and Aircrafts are things of the past; battles are no longer fought on battlefields but on the highly deluded world of cyberspace.
With technology revolution spanning rapidly and the world around us changing so drastically every minute, one would pause and think… where Pakistan stands in terms of International Technology… is and the answer is… I’m still trying to figure that out…
I believe, and I hope I’m wrong; Pakistan has just started to lift itself from the bubble it had embedded itself in.
The cyber crime sector in Pakistan has recently been functional. But the Cyber Crime Bill (Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act 2007) can people in hot waters. Not getting into much detail the bill has various causes in related to hindrance that can affect a Pakistani national. Some clauses are so minute and can be done in complete ignorance with consequences being a seven year jail term!
And the irony of things is that the so called cyber crime fighters are themselves not safety prone. A prime example could be the recent attacks on FIA’s website (Pakibugs Saga); yes it happens elsewhere but not as frequently! Perhaps, something should be done at the government level to curb mal practice and to develop an infrastructure that is strong and concrete like in the western world. Maybe, The FIA needs to insure itself first… One such company that comes to mind offering counter effective services is Tranchulas based in Islamabad that provides innovative security technologies to eliminate the risk associated with connecting and delivering critical network services which is vulnerable to attacks from organized terror groups and malicious hackers. There are similar firms operational in Pakistan and it is resounding to see the efforts being made. Realization is an achievement!
The private IT sector of Pakistan isn’t doing a bad job. The IT industry which started off with such a huge buzz a decade ago, with students actually choosing IT as a career over other fields had suddenly died down along with Pakistan’s image as soon as those twin towers came blistering down. FDI and foreign interest went aloof and the industry became a boulevard of broken dreams for those who couldn’t afford to move abroad!
However, with combined efforts the IT sector has been able to revive itself. The annual ITCN and other such events show cases young Pakistani talent bringing forward opportunities and growth. PASHA Launchpad is another platform for youths of our nation to bring forth their talent, and with substantial and sustained efforts slowly but surely the industry has started to gain momentum.
But that is all. Other countries have availed full use of the new technology and leapfrogged ahead of us in the IT sector.
In times to come, The IT industry of Pakistan promises great opportunities… Will we make full use of it is a debate for another day!