Before I proceed to my chosen topic, let me fire off a quick broadside at the recent ruling of the NTC (National Telecommunications Communications) to ban mobile spam and extend the shelf life of the cellphone load of prepaid customers. While I applaud the agency's action, my question is: Why only now?
It's funny, but the regulatory body was only shoved into making that move because a prominent official--in this case, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile--raised hell against the disappearance of his load despite allegedly not using it.
It is interesting to note that consumers have already complained about these issues in the past, but the NTC always chose to look the other way. It's deeply disturbing that a powerful regulatory body would only spring into action if a high government executive puts it to task and conducts a Congressional investigation.
Having let off some steam, allow me to narrate my experience at a recent trip to Croatia organized by antivirus firm Kaspersky Lab. It was my first time attending an overseas event hosted by a security company, which became all the more unique because it was organized by a Russian firm.
Did I mention it was my first time to set foot on Croatia? I initially questioned the choice of the venue since we all know that that country recently went through a civil war. The only reason I could think of why Kaspersky Lab picked Croatia was because it was a Russian company so therefore it was partial to Eastern Europe.
But, I was glad I joined the trip despite the last-minute visa application and my baggage getting delayed for a day. The event's actual venue was not at the capital Zagreb, but in the charming city of Dubrovnik in the southern part of Croatia.
Dubrovnik is a seaside town which main attraction is its Old Port City, a Unesco World Heritage Site. The walled city is an ancient Catholic community similar to Intramuros in Manila. It's so beautiful you'd wonder how the city survived the shelling during the 1990s civil war.
One thing I noticed at the event was the youthful age of the top executives of Kaspersky Lab. Except for company founder Eugene Kaspersky, who is 43 and another pony-tailed guy whose age must also be in the 40s, the rest of the officials were probably in their 20s. Heck, they can even pass as teenagers in skateboards who accidentally found themselves in a security conference.
Compared to American executives, the Russians are a little bit tight-lipped--at least that's what I observed. But, you've got to give it to them when the topic shifts to security, particularly Internet security, maybe because Russia has a history steeped in security matters. It's no wonder that it's in the cyber security area that Russia produced its first multinational IT firm--Kaspersky Lab.
Also at the event, I was able to meet a number of bloggers--though some are also tech journalists--who have interesting stories to tell which led them to write on cyber security. One such blogger is Karen Lodrick, a lady from San Francisco who amazingly chased and caught a person who stole her identity. Read her account of what happened at her blog.
Another tech journo doubling up as a blogger is Byron Acohido, a Pultizer Prize-winning reporter who covers the IT beat for U.S. daily newspaper, USA Today. Acohido, whose parents are from Cebu in the Philippines, has, in fact, written a book about cyber security entitled Zero Day Threat: The Shocking Truth of How Banks and Credit Bureaus Help Cyber Crooks Steal Your Money and Identity.