DailyPost 2630

To understand the nature of access to government mail and presumably other accounts, the nature of log in happening on a regular basis can be termed as Friendly Login. Friendly Login means that the account holder gives the login credentials to his personal assistant, secretary or anyone he or she desires with the presumed motive of smooth and professional running of the office. It has crossed the email access long time back and digital signatures are also used in a similar manner for the tasks assigned. There used to be instances earlier where you could find the password in some public space of the office.

An audit into the Friendly Login mess would throw up the nature of misuse this slack mode of digital existence would have naturally created. You may like to call it compromised credentials or ready to be compromised. Unfortunately, nobody has found this to be an unhealthy practice even after the current login furore. Given the nature of digital acceptance, lack of interest to learn and getting every single piece of official work done by somebody or the other, this practice is not going to leave the bureaucracy; permanent and political and parliamentarians and legislators anytime soon.

In a weird episode that has rocked the country, a lady member of parliament has been logged out of Lok Sabha for having provided unauthorised access to the official mail. Motive can be a matter of investigation. MPs have expressed openly of this malaise, while themselves being a part of it, because of their lack of skill, having no interest to learn and enjoy the couch potato situation. A paradoxical situation, not so rare in the governmental / legislature sector, is the account holder does not know the password / logging credentials himself. Enjoying the perks of power and comforts of the digital age, they don’t find any need to learn the essentials of digital existence. The cocooned political and bureaucratic living is antithetical to living a responsible digital existence.

When the MPs don’t know and realise the nitty gritty of digital existence for their official and personal life, the sanctity to be provided to login credentials and a variety of other digital assets hang in limbo. Ironically, it may sound, they have recently passed the Data Protection Act, while their digital house is in disarray. An access and privileges and cyber security audit needs to be done, to get to know the current status of things. IT for the political class means the venomous use of social media and digital marketing enmeshed into each other. Without even the basic digital skills how far can legislation and governance go?

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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