A Commissioner in Cyberspace
He arrives in his office in Malacañang and begins to perform his duties as the National Youth Commissioner. Bernardo Jorge B. Mitra, son of former House Speaker Ramon Mitra, goes about his job as Youth Commissioner, a position he has held since 1995.
Besides holding a high position in Malacañang, Commissioner Mitra keeps at pace with the advancements in information technology, specifically the Internet.
"I've been connected to the internet since 1995," he writes in the e-mail interview I conducted with him. "I owe my first connection through the invaluable help of my good friends, the Figueroas of Sequel net [now Infocom].
"And a lot of what I know now was taught to me by my wife, Christine," he adds. He says he spends an average of two hours a day on the net.
When he gets online, he does a mimic of that ole Microsoft screensaver, "Where do you want to go today?" He goes, "What do I want to find out today?"
When asked where he usually surfs, he answers, "I'd rather start from Yahoo and end up in a page I feel is most relevant to my search and/or query."
His Top Ten Websites? " I have eleven favorites, not ten."
The Infobeat and CNN sites are right there at the top of his most frequently visited and favorite websites.
What does he like most about the internet? He has this for a reply:
"What I like most about the internet is the fact that I have the latest information like news and updates sent to me. I can decide WHEN the information will be sent to me, WHERE [what e-mail] will it be sent to and, WHAT kind of information I want. Infobeat & CNN Custom News takes up most of my time.
The second reason for my affinity towards the Internet is the ease in finding almost any kind of information you need 'delivered' to your desk! E-mail comes in a close 3nd. I do not chat. The rare instance that I do, it is only through ICQ."
His take on censorship and regulation of the Internet?
"I believe we should let the Internet be. It will create its own identity at learn from its own mistakes. Freedom included the right to know and the right to the availability of information.
Regulation should be self-policed. A person would know what is right and what is wrong. At home, the parents could simply install a 'guard' program [i.e. Net Nanny] one which informs them what specific areas or sites in the Internet the computer user [their son/s and/or daughter/s] went to while hooked-up."
What's his overall view of the Internet? He has this to say:
"The internet today will be quite different in the next two years. The personality of the Internet will be based on the EXACT needs of the consumer. It will therefore be a summary of the needs of society. The internet will have what society wants it to have. Its openness for information is the main reason for this development.
International 'live' communication and E-business will be two pillars that will spearhead the growth and development of the Internet. Push technology will also be a player.
But above all these, chatting ... useless as it may seem to others, will still be there."
You can e-mail the Commissioner at email@example.com
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