Citizens.lk introduces state of the art security to Sri Lanka

This one is really hard to explain without expletives, but here goes.

The Sri Lankan state wants citizens to register online on a website for their own security. Super idea, never mind that the Sri Lankan State is about as illiberal and undemocratic as they get today.

The first version of http://www.citizens.lk was shoved to a hapless public sometime in early 2009. It turns out to be, quite unexpectedly in light of the UNIX prowess of our interprid Defence Secretary, a monumental disaster and creates more controversy than it helps solve.

Undeterred and in the interests of ‘national security’, the boffins at the Ministry of Defence, in line with the Mahinda Chintanaya, went back to the drawing boards and released the new and improved Version 2.0.

Unfortunately, if you use Firefox, you can’t even log into the site. Try it.

ff-on-citizenslk

Annoyed that Firefox had turned terra and working in league with the CIA and other Western agents hell bent on discrediting the Rajapakse regime, I switched to Safari on my Mac.

Lo and behold, the reason for the barred entry was evident.

citizenslk

Under the Mahinda Chintanaya, the boffins at the MoD have taken a wholly endogenous approach to security certificates, signing them with completely generic information that is guaranteed to be only accepted by MoD and Police data entry operators trained to bypass security that keeps ordinary, law abiding citizens out of the system.

The mind struggles to comprehend what the MoD and Police were thinking when they deployed this system, for the second time, in such a manner. Then again, maybe they weren’t thinking, since the Mahinda Chintanaya does not require this and frowns down upon too much of it in government.

I guess with http://www.citizens.lk 2.0 and an Inspector General of Police who in all seriousness thinks women can use mobile phones to record themselves being raped, we are really in safe, secure hands and guaranteed a future free of terrorism.

Can’t wait.

6 Comments on “Citizens.lk introduces state of the art security to Sri Lanka”

  1. citizen
    April 3, 2009 at 4:52 am #

    ROFL!
    And how dare they use my name in vain!

  2. Pissu Poona
    April 3, 2009 at 10:24 am #

    LOl :) I feel so much more “secure” now. Thanks Sanjana for opening our eyes. Long live the “Rajapakse Troika”!!! :)

  3. shehal
    April 3, 2009 at 9:05 pm #

    interpid? typo?

    sloppy with their certificates – i agree; not signed by a ‘trusted’ site, like verisign.

    one can bypass the certificate business and get to the registration form.

    since i can’t post screen shots i’ll copy paste a curl http(s) response:

    xenon:~ x$ curl https://www.citizens.lk/register -k

    Register with Citizens.lk

    —-

    FireFox asked a few questions about the lose certificate. but one can negotiate his/her way through to the registration form.

    it worked on my iMate running an old(er) version of Windows Mobile. and it works on IE.

    what i don’t understand is this: the grama niladhari (GN) has information about citizens under his/her GN division. for example he/she visits every single household during elections – to collect voter information. so MoD can easily get the GNs to give all the information they require.

    also, someone has to validate the data entered by citizens.

    ‘cos there can be typos
    :p

  4. nooranie
    April 18, 2009 at 1:14 pm #

    Well Guys, I think they had some cash left out from some budget, which couldn’t be spent on anything else because of its budget line. So they decided to have a website to collect info of citizens and use it for defense purposes. The issue was they didn’t have enough cash to get the security certificate sorted.. coz they them selves pocketed the cash:) he he :) lol:)

    Look, I don’t think they do not know all about the security certificates and all this minor details. They already have a 100 and one other government sites on defense info itself. I an sure this is some sort of a trap to get hold of the activist who criticize the regime.

    I am sure they have all the resources to track down who visits citizens.lk and comments and writes about it. They might be even seing this conversation on your blog.

    I am so sure that the buggers at the Defense Secretariat and the President’s office are dumb asses like we think…

    Anyways, I am really really sorry to see all these and I feel sorry for the way Lanka is heading.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Northern Province website re-launched. But where is it? « ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace) - August 11, 2009

    [...] This is as good as the Citizens.lk website launched, then relaunched by the MoD, and still failed to work. [...]

  2. It’s ok for government to infiltrate online privacy of Sri Lankan citizens? « ICT for Peacebuilding (ICT4Peace) - April 17, 2010

    [...] any significant improvement. The first version was downright farcical. The second version was no less bizarre and dysfunctional. I have never bothered to enter my details into this site and once told the Cinnamon Gardens [...]

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