Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Jessica Dheere

Questions the Lebanese Government Should Answer about the New Biometric Passports

Mostly about how the government can protect our personal data.

We still lack a data protection law in Lebanon

Lebanon will adopt a new biometric passport by the end of July 2016, said General Security chief Major General Abbas Ibrahim in an interview for Lebanese newspaper Assafir less than two weeks ago. (It is already done)

While expected, the announcement left unaddressed many key concerns about how this process and the data collected will be handled, particularly with regard to the protection of personally identifiable information (PII).

Given the pervasive lack of trust in the Lebanese government—exacerbated by the gross mismanagement of the passport renewal process earlier this year—it is essential that several sets of questions be asked and answered publicly and transparently before the implementation of biometric passports.

We have outlined the questions we think need to be addressed before the program moves forward:

Inkrypt won the bid that valued $140 million. Inkrypt’s general manager, Jacques Seif, said: “We will handle all the programming and software development in-house.”
Should we trust Inkrypt to protect our data?
What legal framework and security standards will they use to protect the data?
Who will audit their code for bugs or security holes?

Gemalto, the Dutch/French subcontractor, will be in charge of manufacturing the passports. (What?)
Over the last few years, the company was hacked by the NSA and the GCHQ.

Gemalto confirmed the attacks.
Has the Lebanese government has publicly acknowledged this breach or proposed countermeasures for how similar attacks might be prevented?

There’s a history of leaking personal data and selling it on the black market in Lebanon.

How can we avoid this from happening to our biometric data?
What are the laws and regulations used to protect our data?
Where is the data stored?
Who has access to the data?
How is it protected?

We still lack a data protection law in Lebanon.

How can the government make sure that our data is protected in the absence of any protective legal framework?

Any adoption of new technologies must include a thorough review of the risks and rewards vis à vis both national security and personal security, including the protection of personally identifiable information.

New laws and regulations must be enacted where necessary. This is an issue that we urge the Lebanese government to take seriously.

In addition to the author, Jessica Dheere, Ghida Frangieh, and Jad Shokor helped in this blogpost

Mohamad is advocacy and policy director at Social Media Exchange (SMEX). He has initiated and contributed to several successful online campaigns, such as #stopthislaw and #ProtectPrivacy, and is currently focused on bringing together knowledgeable and progressive voices to push for sound Internet governance in the Arab region.

He tweets as @MoNajem and blogs for SMEX and Global Voices Advocacy.

TEDxBeirut: At Last, Auditions. Round One?
TEDxBeirut conference was a success story last Saturday Sept.24.  I reported previously that I submitted a one-minute video, as required, in order to be eligible for the screening process for the candidates to be selected for a first audition.  I was turned down with no feedback, but I was invited for free to attend the event.  My topic was on How rare are dangerous events? How dangerous are “rare” species? Even when extinct?
So how the audition process might have taken place? This is how Jessica Dheere reported on Sept. 14:

“Ah you’re here! Right on time. A little early actually. That’s good. Please, do come in,” the one with the vivid red-brown braid said with a hearty smile.
As she gestured gaily, stretching her arm into the vastness of the site, the whiteness of her teeth sparkled starkly against the contrast provided by the darkness of her shirt.
“Take a seat. Yes, any seat you like. Make yourself comfortable. Are you ready? You can go whenever you’re ready.”
The one with the bouncy curls, having finished marking red several X on the ground, proceeded to his touch-screen contraption. He made all sorts of seemingly whimsical gestures, unobstructed by his injured hand, a la Tom Cruise in Minority Report, and produced a glaring stopwatch, set at 6 minutes sharp.

They got up, one after the other, sensing their initial intimidation getting numbed by the homeliness of their surroundings. It was when the ideas started burgeoning, flowing, and ultimately filling up the entire place, inducing cheers, tears, laughter and much more.
This was not a classical audition with an air of formality and detachment between the judging panel and the presenter. This was the first round of the TEDxBeirut Auditions –an invite for each speaker to share his/her idea on just the right platform for that ideal: Ideas Worth Spreading.

The Speakers’ Team truly upped their game this time. Donning their TEDxBeirut Titans regalia composed of black t-shirts, earnest looks, and hearty smiles, they welcomed the speakers in a way that helped relieve their concerns, yet conveyed an appropriate air of seriousness –if selected, the speakers will be delivering the most important talk of their lives!
Sandra, the Lara Croft Titan, and Marc, the Restless Roman Titan, were there since the early hours of the day, taking care of every vital aspect pertaining to the success of the auditions.

Ten speakers presented their ideas, achievements, aspirations, theories, and passions. A quick recap that treads the fine line between revealing too much and getting you intrigued? Consider the following: Ten Commandments for winning an Emmy from an Emmy winner, a record-breaking NGO campaign with a moving background story, music meeting electronics to give a young entrepreneur his 15 minutes of fame and a lifelong dream to pursue, “addressing” uncharted territories, in addition to invisible balloon propping and popping –this is only a handful of the topics presented on Day One of the auditions.

The team and the speakers alike benefited from valuable input presented by members of Toastmasters Lebanon, the NGO helping people hone their public speaking skills.

The speakers’ relaxation largely stemmed from the homeliness of the location: nSITE Raouche –a great Thank You goes out to Hala Makarem for her invaluable involvement with TEDxBeirut.

“How many speakers from Round One were picked? Who were they? How was Round Two like? And would you please tell us what’s the deal with the new nicknames?!” The readers questioned loudly, but the Titan with the keyboard typed only this: “Worry not, devoted readers. Tomorrow, a great deal will be uncovered!”

I still would like to know “what a one-minute” video may give hints as to the adequacy of a speaker?  What are the criteria that selection team agreed upon, as they required this video.  What they were intent on sorting out at first glance? Shouldn’t a face to face one-minute talk be of better quality?

Apparently, this event has been in the making for 9 months.  The first six months were kind of trial and error exploratory expedition. As WilliamChoukeir said on the talk of Helweh wa Morra (Sweet and bitter) on LBC cable:  “Things gelled in the last three weeks before the event”

The organizers are young people and this huge event is their first.  And the event was a huge success anyway you analyze it: Just imagine the work, patience, time consumed, energy invested to getting 20 speakers auditioned and trained, and catering to the minute details to satisfying over 800 people, and keeping them energized during three sessions of presentations.




June 2023

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