Thursday, August 19, 2010

When was cricket a "Gentleman's Game" ?

Recently, there was a huge media report on a very unfair thing happened to India. If you let your mind wander on whether it is inflation, terrorism etc. let me stop you. The major event was Sri Lankan bowler intentionally bowling a no ball to prevent Sehwag from getting to century in a cricket match.

That is it, Zilch… This has gotten the media talking and they are still at it, prompted knee jerk reactions from all the commentators, players and the cricketing establishment. Even the ICC, which usually just turns over and resumes its sleep, when a lightning strikes has issued immediate statements, calling out the need to uphold the spirit of gentleman’s game.

Well, I hate to break the news to you. Cricket stopped being a gentleman’s game long time back. Yes, sit down and take note. In the early seventies, when England lost test series to India, ICC immediately changed the rules/laws of the game limiting the fielders on the leg side, to negate the advantage India had from its spinning trio. Folks, cricket stopped being a gentleman’s game on that. The charade that is still one is being carried on for reasons that are known only to the establishment.

When “mental disintegration” of the opponent became a game plan for the Aussies, cricket stopped being a gentleman’s game. I am aghast, as to how this notion of “gentleman’s game” has come about for cricket. From the beginnings, when the ICC successfully kept the non-white players into second class level, to when the still played against South Africa regularly, while ignoring India et al, cricket has never been a gentleman’s game. Yet, some a more than gullible media and intellectuals (mostly retired old son of bitches, in search of a column assignment) keep this going !

I am convinced if the Aussie team had done this to Sehwag, then all the oldies would have written columns and waxed eloquent as to how tough the Aussies are, how professional and clinical they were to deny Sehwag that century.

Adding insult to injury, Sehwag was guilty of the same tactic to kick a ball over the boundary to get a tail ender in the batter’s crease !!

Sri Lanka, despite all the scorn I am with you.. Let us end this myth of “Gentleman’s game” once and for all…..

To the so called cricketing world (just 7 significant countries btw), “Grow up and Get over it…”

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hysteria around blackberry...

Blackberry Security threat
Is it really security threat ?

We all have heard recent reports about blackberry security threat and even a possible ban on its usage by the Indian government and media. Well, it is time to look at this issue in depth and form our own opinion.

What is this security threat ? Unlike other service providers who keep their servers that store their servers which provide email/sms and other features in India, blackberry stores all its servers in Canada and USA. Which means, if the Indian government wants to access them for some reason, e.g. to read a message sent by a Jihadi bomber on what target to attack etc., they can’t because the servers are not in India and the data stored in the servers is strongly encrypted and without blackberry’s co-operation you can’t understand it as well. It is precisely these concerns that prompted various governments, just as Indian government is doing now that blackberry locate its servers which are used to provide services to Indian customers in India and most importantly, agree to allow the government to intercept them on a need basis.

There you have it, this is the basic issue. Now what do we do ? Is it a security threat for our government to be unable to access such information, absolutely yes. Now, having access to that information will it achieve anything for the government, absolutely nothing. Well friends, I hate to break the news to you, having access to the government which is by and large corrupt will harm the citizens more and will not achieve much from a national security angle as well.

Why will it not achieve anything ? Emails have to flow from one territory to another, e.g. from to a destination with at least one point being in India for our government to intercept them. I can ask my friend in Pakistan to create a gmail account in the USA (again through another friend) share the account information and we can then log on, type in whatever we want and save that email, not send it ! This simple technique ensures that we can exchange information and still there is no information flow to and from India for our government to intercept.

The only security issue is that the communication of Indians using blackberry is now accessible to US authorities and not Indian authorities. That is the only issue here. I am not seeing our government and the media highlighting this legitimate need, mob hysteria is being whipped up and somehow, they are projecting this as a huge security threat, which it clearly is not.

Worse, with our government historically been corrupt and abusive, it will only use the information that it lays its hands to extract favors and bribes, for that simple reason I will stand against this proposal from our government.

What we should do actually, is to demand that blackberry stop sharing its co-operation agreement with various governmetnts and protect the data it has lot tougher !! It will ensure that USA with its agreement is unable to intercept communication that is happening between two consumers in India. It is the threat to Indian consumers that the government should be worrying about.

A note from history, in 2007 the French government prohibited all government employees to conduct any information exchange, email/sms on government or related matters using blackberry, their concern was that the US could access them, there was no hysteria and yes, no ban either….

Perhaps, we can a lesson or two here…