Afterword

ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A few comments on The Journalist article

The Journalist ran an article yesterday on cybercrime and related legislation in Bhutan. This is an area of extreme importance to all nations (see, for example, Pen-drive attacks US military), and its significance will grow exponentially in the upcoming years. Currently, Bhutan remains quite vulnerable to cybercrime.

There are a few comments I would like to make regarding The Journalist piece.
  • Legislation will not stop Bhutan's vulnerability to cyber-crime. Hackers in Pakistan, China or Bulgaria will not be deterred by Bhutan's cyber-laws. If a pen-drive is infected by a virus, no law will prevent an innocent user from plugging it into the office desktop. And unfortunately, infected emails do not stop at the Phuentsholing checkpoint. 
  • The article mentions that "many government websites are hacked because they don’t have uninterruptible power supply". I must say that I never heard of this one before, and I would like to know the logic behind it. Hackers most often gain access to systems by taking advantage of software bugs and by means of social engineering. While missing UPSes can cause inconveniences, I cannot see how they can be a major security threat.
  • Finally, while the lack of cyber-laws can definitely discourage IT firms or businesses from investing in Bhutan, I cannot see how it will "discourage people from visiting Bhutan". 
P.S.: On the Journalist's home page, clicking on the article teaser ("OF LATE, several government and corporate websites have fallen victim to invisible hackers. read more...") brings you to the wrong article. Hopefully this is due to a typo and not to the site being hacked!