Time to bridge IT and legal gap

SALALAH, August 21 – There is a call for making balance between legal procedures and Information Technology (IT), as there has been a big gap between the two due to very fast pace of IT and slow pace of legislation that are urgently needed to make a balance.
“As of today the laws are far behind the developments in the IT sector. Something or the other is happening in the sector every moment, but the sectors that have to legitimise those developments or look at them from the perspective of law, are lagging behind,” said Dr Hafidh bin Ibrahim al Shuhi, Assistant Professor, Info Systems at Sultan Qaboos University, in an interview with Observer.
He was in Salalah to take part in a two-day international gathering of experts to discuss ‘Electronic Trading and Cloud Computing’. The event concluded on Monday with strong recommendation to channelise the Big Data or Cloud Computing in the interest of an individual, society and nation.
“The gathering is a very good move to bridge the gap between law and IT. There are participants from IT, law and stakeholders from both the sectors. We are noticing many cyber crimes happening everyday and many perpetrators are getting off scot free in the absence of proper legislation, apparently due to the fact that there are no defined laws for certain crimes. This needs to be addressed by taking help from latest tools of IT,” said Dr Hafidh.
The Big Data or Cloud Computing, according to him has capability to offer a solution. He cited an example of the government’s bid to track activities on social media, which is not possible humanly. Analysis of such information on social media may be very helpful for doing some policy decision.
“Cloud Computing is capable of storing all those information and analysing them. It is high time the government should channelise these tools and let the people and country benefit from them. Today, many people are not using such tools thinking that they do not have legal base,” he said.
Cloud, according to him, is not a very new concept. Many countries are using them in a big way but the pace of use in Gulf countries is generally slow. “Today’s IT buzzword is Big Data and I strongly recommend its adoption by the authorities.”
Dr Hafidh finds big advantage in adopting the Cloud. Collecting and storing data becomes easy here and there is scope also for analysing them, as there are sub-tools to do analysis.
Commenting on safety and security of data on Cloud or any other mode, Dr Hafidh put stress on awareness, as it has been noticed that despite best of the security tools, the perpetrators intrude just due to users’ ignorance.
“When the cyber criminals fail on hacking an establishment’s data, they try people and become successful due to their ignorance… the awareness should start from home and schools. There should be wider coverage in offices etc through workshops and conferences, as there is no way to be alert and then act,” he said.

Kaushalendra Singh