Der SpiegelAlthough the ZTE project has been ordered 'temporarily suspended', as Ricky points out on his blog, the Supreme Court has already ordered it temporarily restrained.
A report suggesting that the Chinese military has hacked into German government computers could have a negative impact on the prospects in Western markets of Chinese equipment vendors Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063 - message board; Hong Kong: 0763), believes an analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort .
German news magazine Der Spiegel reported recently that computers in the German chancellery and the foreign, economic, and research ministries had been infected with Chinese spyware software, and German officials say they believe the hackers were linked to China's People's Liberation Army. (See China's Premier 'Gravely Concerned' by Hack on Germany and China to Use Computer Viruses as Cyberwarfare First Strike.)
THE ROMULO NERI MOMENT (Newsbreak Online)
The pathbreaking local newsmagazine Newsbreak (now mostly online) reconstructs what may have been the conversation between Romulo Neri and Benjamin Abalos when the latter allegedly offered the former a 200 million peso bribe. I won't spoil Newsbreak's "scoop" so you will have to read it all at their website. In any case the moment of which they speak, is yet to come this coming Wednesday at the Senate, when the Blue Ribbon and Trade and Industry Committees of Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Mar Roxas take up once more the ZTE National Broadband Network hearings.
There is palpable hope in the media and blogosphere that Romulo Neri will have the smoking gun on Abalos. That he will not kiss, but tell of the attempt. But Wednesday is an awfully long time from now...
It looks like the Cyber-Education project of the Department of Education will suffer the same fate as the tainted ZTE National Broadband Network. Worth 26 billion pesos, it was considerably larger than the government's internal computer system worth 16 billion. But I think the provision of telecommunications infrastructure into the public schools is a worthwhile goal. However, I also believe that the government as such is absolutely the last choice I would make to implement any given proposal. Any future Cyber Education Project should be undertaken largely by the Private Sector. Simple as that. Keep government out of it because the government is inherently incapable of implementing such projects. A key consideration is the matter of technical obsolescence and its interplay with cost and deployment decisions, best handled again by the private sector. The dismal record of DOTC in the Telepono Para Sa Barangay project certainly disqualifies them in my mind, automatically!
What then is the role of government? I think it is to do the ONE thing that they did NOT do in the ZTE NBN thing. The Government does not have a Specification of what it wants to buy. They just take whatever proposal happens to float by and take the best one, according to Secretary Leandro Mendoza in the Senate last week. I think that is nuts. Most of these projects have very good goals, but the best way to get them done is with full transparency. We cannot build complex machines in the dark, why should we attempt it with the government's computer and telecommunication's facilities?
These big complex systems should have clearly defined and publicly discussed Functional Specifications and ought to be publicly bidded out for optimal results. In fact, a BOT project not cornered by the son of the House speaker would do the job, at least for the education department. I think DOTC should not be in the telecomms business however. The government computer system should be run by the Department of National Defense.