Justice Ministry reckons ICTA's role vigorous
Assessing its contribution to cybercrime prevention :
Justice Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamlath said that the Justice
Ministry has received substantial strength from the ICT Agency of Sri
Lanka in its efforts against cybercrimes.
He said this during his keynote address as the guest of honour at the
inauguration of the two-day international workshop on a 'Cooperation
Against Cybercrime in South Asia,' jointly hosted by the Council of
Europe and ICTA.
Supreme Court Judge, Justice R K S Suresh Chandra, Economic
Crime Division European Council Head Alexander Seger and
ICTA Director and Legal Advisor Jayantha Fernando along with
some of the participants at the workshop.
Speaking further during the keynote address on the occasion at the
launch of the workshop held at Hilton Colombo Residence recently,
Justice Ministry Secretary commended the contribution made by the staff
of ICTA, in particular its Director and Legal Advisor Jayantha Fernando
towards the formulation of the Computer Crime Act, No 24 of 2007.
Pointing out the need for further endeavours the Secretary said,
"Since the Act was certified by the Speaker on July 9, 2007, there are
194 investigations ongoing under this Act. However no indictments have
been filed to date. But this is not unusual.
This is the experience in many countries. Hence the need of further
collective effort at domestic, regional and international level to give
teeth to this piece of legislation especially through further work on
electronic evidence as well as training for judges and prosecutors", the
Secretary said. ICTA Chairman Professor P W Epasinghe said, "For
countries of South Asia as for societies in other regions of the world
information and communication technologies provide unprecedented
opportunities for social and economic development. However, as societies
rely on ICT, at the same time they become vulnerable to risks such as
cybercrime. Cooperation at all levels such as, public-private,
international is a crucial element of the response.
"In Asia a number of countries, such as India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
have taken or are in the process of taking steps, including the
strengthening of their cybercrime legislation in line with the Budapest
Convention on Cybercrime and of relevant instructions such as units
responsible for high-tech investigations or incident response to face
In Sri Lanka ICTA not only helped in the formulation of legislation
but also established expert units, such as Sri Lanka Computer Emergency
Response Team (SLCERT).The aim of the workshop is to enhance the
capacity of the countries of South Asia to cooperate internationally
While Hon Justice R K S Suresh Chandra Judge of the Supreme Court was
a Special Guest of Honour, Telecommunication and IT Ministry Secretary
Nimal Atukorala, Solicitor General Priyasath Dep, President's Counsel,
Head of Economic Crime Division of Council of Europe Alexander Seger and
ICTA Director and Legal Advisor Jayantha Fernando also participated at
The participants in the workshop included representatives from South
Asian countries, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
These participants came together at this workshop to enhance their
capacity for cooperating against cybercrime.
The workshop provided an ideal opportunity for assessing the
cybercrime legislation of countries concerned. Compatibility of
cybercrime legislation with international standards is a pre-requisite
for international cooperation. Therefore assessment of this
compatibility of participating countries was among the specific
objectives of the workshop", a senior ICTA spokesman said.
The participants shared their experience and promoted international
police and judicial cooperation including accession to agreements such
as the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime. ICTA spokesman said that
another specific objective of the workshop was to promote the
inter-agency and public cooperation at domestic levels.
Speaking further on the type of participants, the ICTA spokesman said
that participants included representatives from each of the
above-mentioned countries with responsibility for the subject.
Spelling out the areas under the subject the ICTA spokesman mentioned
cybercrime legislation, high-tech crime investigations, international
police and or judicial cooperation and incident response (Computer
Emergency Response Team [CERT] or similar).
Speakers and representatives of countries other than the South Asian
countries mentioned above, including parties to the Budapest Convention
were also present and shared their relevant experience.
Facebook makes data centres cheaper
Facebook on Thursday presented an Internet-obsessed world with a gift
- greener, cheaper data centers to more efficiently power online
The social networking star custom-designed hardware, power supply,
and architecture of a new US data center that is 38 percent more power
efficient and costs 24 percent less than the industry average.
Schematics and designs for Facebook's revolutionary data center in
the Oregon city of Prineville were made available to the world as part
of an Open Compute Project announced by founder Mark Zuckerberg.
"We found a lot of stuff mass manufacturers were putting out wasn't
what we needed, so we customized it to better fit social applications,"
Zuckerberg said during a press conference at Facebook's campus in Palo
"We are trying to foster this ecosystem where developers can easily
A shift to hosting software applications as services in the Internet
"cloud" is driving enormous growth of data centers globally, according
to Graham Weston, chairman and founder of US computer network hosting
Cheaper data centers should translate into lower costs for Internet
startups that typically rent computing capacity, providing a
"turbo-charge" for innovation, according to Dell computer vice president
of server platforms Forrest Norrod.
"Facebook's design is really a leap forward, because it is much
simpler, cheaper and greener," Weston said. "I think it's the biggest
reduction in server infrastructure cost in a decade."
San Francisco-based social game sensation Zynga is looking to use
Facebook's technology in its data centers, which host popular online
games such as "FarmVille" and "Zynga Poker."
"We think it is going to make a big difference in how we bring play
to the Internet," Zynga chief technology officer Allen Leinwand said
while taking part in the Facebook press conference.
"It's time to stop treating data centers like 'Fight Club' and
demystify what is going on in there," Facebook vice president of
technical operations Jonathan Heilinger said in a playful reference to a
film based on secret gatherings for bare-knuckle matches.
Other Internet firms such as Google build their own data centers, but
haven't made designs freely available as Facebook has at the website
Developing countries where outdated and inefficient data centers are
common could be prime beneficiaries of the free Facebook technology.
India, China and other countries are racing into an Internet Age that
demands data centers, Dell's Norrod noted. "There will be the
opportunity for Internet companies in the developing world to take a
leap forward, jumping over the past 15 years of learning," Norrod said.
"That's going to happen."
Computer makers Dell and Hewlett-Packard along with chip companies
Intel and Advanced Micro Devices worked with Facebook to develop the
data center technology.
Facebook engineers hoped to get feedback and ideas to improve the
"It is like the launch of the (Toyota) Prius, only you gave people
the plans on how to make the Prius," said Intel data center group
general manager Jason Waxman. "There are a lot of places around the
world that could benefit from this kind of information."
Education Ministry, Intel agree to enhance maths,
Tried and tested world programs to benefit SL students
With the objective of empowering the next generation of Sri Lankan
students, Intel and the Education Ministry signed two memorandums of
understanding that are intended to strengthen science and maths
education in Sri Lanka.
Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena with Intel and
As part of the first MoU, Intel hopes to see its skoool e-learning
program, which is currently available in English, be made available in a
Sinhalese language version. In addition, Intel and the Education
Ministry expressed a shared desire in the second MoU to see the Sri
Lanka Science and Engineering Fair (SLSEF) take place again this year.
The two MoUs aim to give Sri Lankan students the opportunity to
develop and showcase their maths and science skills, and to strengthen
the use of technology in the classroom. The agreements were signed in a
ceremony at the Mahinda Rajapaksa College, in Homagama, in a ceremony
that was attended by Education Minister Bandula Gunawardena, Education
Ministry Secretary H M Gunasekera, Additional Secretaries of Education
Anura Dissanayake, Hemantha Prematilake, Intel's Sales and Marketing
Group Vice President John Davies and Intel's World Ahead Program General
Manager and Country Business Manager, Intel Sri Lanka Indika de Zoysa
and other officials.
Intel's skoool program, initiated in 2007, offers teachers and
students e-learning tools and resources that are designed to be more
engaging and improve the learning process. Making these resources
available in Sinhalese, in addition to the existing English version,
will make them accessible to more students in Sri Lanka.
Speaking at the event, Education Minister Gunawardana said, "The
insight gained through these programs will enable these teachers and
their students to improve their level of knowledge. These programs have
been tried and tested across the world and will go a long way in
enhancing our students' level of knowledge in the fields of mathematics
and science and technology. I have no doubt that these students here
stand to benefit from this website as it provides various tools that
will eventually make them better learners in due course."
"This is a good opportunity for students to enhance their education
through the use of technology and showcase the results. Ensuring that
local communities benefit from technology is an important step towards
building a brighter future for Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lanka Science and Engineering Fair (SLSEF) is held in
December each year. The competitors for this fair are selected from the
Science Research Project competition of the National Science Foundation
(NSF) of Sri Lanka and the annual Junior Inventor of the Year (JIY)
competition held by the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL). The
ten best projects from these are brought together to compete at SLSEF.
The winners of this local competition go on to vie in the world's
largest pre-college science competition that brings together thousands
of young scientists who share ideas, showcase cutting-edge science, and
compete for scholarships.
Through the Intel World Ahead Program Intel works with technology
industry partners, education leaders and government figures to provide
opportunities to those in developing communities that would otherwise
not be available.
Intel has committed US$1 billion over a period of five years to
support the program, whose objectives include training an additional 10
million teachers in the use of technology in education, with a potential
to reach another one billion students.