Local storage may safeguard e-governance data from spying

- Ramotar

Data generated under government’s E-Governance Project will be stored on servers based in Guyana, according to project manager Alexei Ramotar, who says it could offer protection against spying.

“One of the things we’re doing is storing data locally in Guyana,” he said in response to a query about the security of data in light of US spying revelations by the US’ National Security Agency (NSA) whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

At an engineers’ conference yesterday, Ramotar spoke on the benefits of the e-governance programme and he outlined the various ways it can be used such as database and CCTV for police, education and land information systems. The biggest issue facing successful implementation of e-government is change management, while technology is another big caveat, he said.

He acknowledged that in relation to Guyana’s e-government project, with better equipment the work of laying the cable would probably have been done better.

He said that they are close to completing most of the sites with the exception of Lethem, where work should start most likely by the end of this month. He revealed that there will also be a mobile data centre which could be used in the event of a disaster.

Ramotar said that there will also be one data centre in Georgetown and one out of the city. In relation to the question about the US spying revelations, he said that storing data locally could be a solution. He noted that there will have to be high speed access, security and a management system.

The technology being used, he said, is secure. “It protects agencies from each other if they want to do that,” he said, stressing that government data would be as safe as it can be but nothing is 100 percent. “What we have right now is what we believe will be the best…” right now but in five years, that would probably be obsolete, he said.

Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Luncheon late last year had said that the US$32 million E-Governance project, which includes the laying of a fibre optic cable from Brazil, is on-going and will be completed sometime in 2014.

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