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A punch in the face of Internet police

Ankit Fadia just made it easier for you to surf those blocked social media sites in office. And, he has advice for the IT guys

books Updated: Jan 26, 2012 12:08 IST
Soumya Mukerji, Hindustan times

Ankit Fadia can even crack tough nuts who’re convinced he’s no ‘ethical hacker’ but just a smart hack who knows how to sell himself. “I have never misused my hacking prowess,” he assures with a mischievous smile that leads to confessions of once hacking into a crush’s email in school. “Only that, and the one time around the same age, I think 15, when I hacked my then favourite website — that of Chip magazine — and uploaded my own picture and web address on their landing page only to send an apology later.” Dumb, you say. The author, 26, agrees, grinning with the smile of a six-year-old. He has all the reason to, for he knows his latest book, How to Unblock Everything on The Internet, will take him to greater heights of hack heroism.

It’s an easy step-by-step cheat guide to bringing down those annoying school, college and office firewalls, and if one way fails, there are 99 others to make sure your IT guys pull their hair out. Wow. Works for all. If you’re a parent or teacher or HR person though, you must be fuming. Probably even planning a PIL against the book. In fact, the government may think of taking it off shelves too, considering how mad it is with Facebook and Twitter. “If they ban it, I’ll come out with e-book versions. Blocking the Internet hampers overall progress and limits exposure. It only happens in South East Asia and Germany, where they don’t want you to watch Nazi content. Nowhere else in the West, nowhere in the world. Our government needs to realise that a free Internet is an asset and not a liability,” he says. The Chinese government, too, may not be happy with how he backs one of his unblocking tricks as ‘if it can work in China, it can work anywhere.’ “I’m only telling readers what already happens there,” he defends.

Sounds all good, but how does one justify that pesky employee who’d watch crap on YouTube for four hours straight or that kid who’d access adult content if no checks were put in place? “The right way to do it is to monitor an employee’s activities, and if someone’s doing what they shouldn’t, the HR should walk up and say, ‘hey dude, this is not working … either you check your ways or we’ll have to check you out’.” As for parents, he says, 24/7 supervision is impossible anyway, so it’s time they did away with the policing. “If you are going to block certain sites at home, the kid will surely find a way to surf them elsewhere. The important thing is to inculcate strong values from the start, teach them about responsible choices and then leave them to make their own. They’ll respect you for it, and the ‘forbidden fruit’ temptation will be gone.”

What about those who might misuse his book to access porn? “Believe me, those whose only motive is to do that won’t read my book. They’ll just walk to Palika.”

First Published: Jan 26, 2012 12:08 IST