My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why Jamaica's Open Data Portal Training should also focus on Cybersecurity as GOVNet Looms

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Why Jamaica's Open Data Portal Training should also focus on Cybersecurity as GOVNet Looms

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Energy has decided that access to Government Data is a must.

For this reason, they launched the Open Data Portal, making Jamaica the first Caribbean country to do so as reported in the article “Gov’t launches Open Data Portal”, published Friday, June 24, 2016, The Jamaica Observer.

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Overall, the Government of Jamaica is developing an Open Data Policy as it relates to Government data, which I suspect may also include research to help investors as pointed out in “Open Data Portal to Improve Transparency – Dr. Wheatley”, published June 23, 2016 By Tomeica Gunn, The Jamaica Information Service.

In a sense it's an extension of the Access to Information Act, only in a more convenient search engine form:

http://data.gov.jm

The Ministry of Science, Technology and Energy has plans to train their government officials to manage the Open Portal, mainly via building Budget Data Visualizations of dataset for the following areas:

1.      Agriculture
2.      Economy
3.      Education
4.      Environment
5.      Finance
6.      Health
7.      Infrastructure
8.      Society
9.      Technology
10.  Transport

One wonders if the GOJ should have spent more time just promoting the Jamaica Information Service Website and associated YouTube channel via an App or Google Chrome Extension like they’ve done their Stay Alert App as noted in my blog article entitled “Why Ministry of National Security's Stay Alert App is Prankster's Summer Toy of 2016”!!

Also, they should train them as it relates their Government Websites and associated data more secure by improving how the treat emails, based on the Cyber Incident Response Report 2016 as explained in my blog article entitled “Why Jamaican Government Websites still hackable in 2016 despite Cyber Incident Response Report”.

Open Data Policy is a Good Move – GOVnet still needed to bring GOJ into 21st Century

The Open Data Policy is really lipstick on a pig, as the GOJ is yet to upgrade their Intranet to the proposed GOVnet concept as envisioned by former Minister of Technology Phillip Paulwell as explained in my blog article entitled “How US Gov US$400,000 Body Cameras, HD CCTV Camera Network, NWA PEN, GOVnet are connected”.  

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Barbados has already built their WAN (Wide area Network) to interconnect all Government Ministries and agencies as explained in my blog article entitled “Digicel to build Barbados Government Wide Area Network while rolling out Digicel Play”. The GOJ needs to focus on building out GOVnet while securing their online presence!

Still, this is what the UK’s Department for International Development in collaboration with the World Bank paid Jamaica to implement. How they remember cybersecurity is as strong as their weakest link: Government employees!



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