An email is before me. On opening my Inbox an incoming message showed it was from the ‘Overseas Pakistanis Foundation’ with the subject reading ‘Go take a look at it, OK?” I never open any un-solicited emails but since the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) is a semi autonomous body under the Federal Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, hence I opened it without any fear. The message however appears to be from some private concern reading “My dear friend I find a site to sell electronic products at very nice prices” and then it gives the site access link. This message is usual from a business concern alluring and promoting its business but through this modus operandi trying to give an impression, though very wrongly, as if the email was from the OPF hence the products are reliable or some indirect recommendations from OPF.
OPF since long is often in the national press with reference to the Senate findings or other parliamentarian forums though no government has and never will have the courage to seriously and really investigate and book the culprits. For example only last month press was full with the story how in violation of the government rules a contract has been awarded. Earlier, the Senate found 35 millions “in-file” expenses on an invisible non existing development work in its housing scheme. Has some insider “allowed” a commercial message through the official network? No one can say anything. It was the OPF staff who in early 90s allowed use of the official postal franking machine, OPF official envelopes, OPF internal lists/data of Overseas Pakistanis to an “employees cooperative housing scheme” to invite applications by giving an impression to mostly the semi literate Overseas Pakistanis as if the scheme was that of OPF. Or it could be, more chances of the same, that some hackers making inroads have used the OPF official email. Whatever may be the actual position as a layman however what I cannot understand is that why mysteriously our Government officials are so interested and keen in having their official interaction contacts/emails with “free” service providers like Yahoo, Hotmail, gmail etc, despite having on huge expenses, their own internal official independent i-tech systems. The OPF Karachi has its official email mysteriously and for reasons not understandable as firstname.lastname@example.org despite having its own independent secure server opf.org.pk.
Use of such free international service providers has become a norm of the day with our officials. For example Nepra’a Musrrat Durani a senior executive has his official email email@example.com whereas Nepra has its own server. Addl. Director General Pakistan Post Mr. Ghulam Punjtan Rizvi prefers having his email as firstname.lastname@example.org while his server is http://pakpost.gov.pk. Our Interior Minister has his contact as email@example.com The Ministry of the Interior in every country is that second most important Ministry where security of all sorts is always the main important issue. Our Interior Ministry’s complaint cell is at firstname.lastname@example.org. Being myself a security man I could not believe my eyes reading the public notice advertisement inviting public help for investigating the Karachi Muharram blasts when the DIG Karachi was seeking all such information on a gmail.com free account. Lo and behold – the President of Pakistan website (created by the PPP for its party chief) http://www.asifazardari.com/peresident_cabinet.htm today 29th of April 2010 shows Sherry Rehman as Federal Minister for Information & Broadcasting and Health, Farooq H. Neik as Minister for Law, Justice and Human Rights. A party which itself has not proper update information about its own internal management affairs how can it serve the nation? at least I cannot understand. And etc etc.
It is quite true that today nothing is so secret at least from the hands of the sole single World Policeman. It is generally rightly believed that whatever technology or the products it provides particularly to the developing or third world nations are mostly of second generation and one way or the other its “remote control” is always “there”. So no one can take it as guaranteed that these so ample ever increasing “features” being provided free of cost to the crazy world are “secure” at all. As such what puzzles, is why our officials do not keep their I-tech contacts with their own internal servers on which a huge is monthly spent and to some extent are can be said “secure”? Or is it that these officials themselves do not trust on their own systems hence more dependence on American service providers?