Archive for August, 2010

Adventure in an Internet Cafe

It was my first contact with a real Internet Cafe in this city. I remember I used kind of public computer access service 10 years ago at my home town. 3 Y for an hour or so. A young boy by the door charged the customers. All I did was to pay in cash. Today I learned I was so outdated after the reform of regulation. When I went to the underground site, I saw a large room with hundreds of computers and a number of users. At the front desk, a man with suspicious accent replied to my query of prices impatiently. After being told that 1 Y for 20 minutes, I presented Y10 as deposit. The man then asked me to provide my ID card, the most important personal document, to him. He got my ID, scanned or stored the information, and asked me to stand in front of a camera to take a snapshot. The whole process was like to screen a new prisoner. Finally I got a small receipt, with my ID number as account number. I manged to login a vacant computer  by inputting my ID number. After 10 minutes’ usage, I turned off the computer and presented the receipt to the counter man to get my deposit back. He retained my receipt, on which my ID number was printed.

I took a long breathe after eventually getting back to the ground. I was not only impressed by strict identity monitoring process but  shocked by the danger of privacy intrusion and ID theft. The service provider is required by the authority to check, verify and store large amount of customers’ personal information. Are they obliged to keep confident of the information obtained? How can customers know that they will not abuse by forging, selling, leaking the information?

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Useful Idiots

Isn’t weird that Internet governance suddenly becomes a hot topic of this place? People who have no background on research and education are all of a sudden upgraded to the position of top experts or advisers. Billions of state funds find the new way to enter into corrupt pockets. New so-called excellent courses or training programs are set up. The reason, obviously, that more useful idiots are needed.

I was so amused when attending an absolutely boring window-dressing meeting to assess an irrelevant university’s newly born LLM program. Apart from listening from a couple of colorful-nail middle-age women’s suggestions to the meeting host on how to fool the assessment criteria, a seemingly half-drunk man intervened that governance means solely and completely governmental administration and shall be categorized as administrative law. The meeting hosts who applied to run the LLM program and self-claimed experts on IG nodded with greatest consent. I was so overwhelmed at that moment. I might be Alice in the wonderland.

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