The recent hacking of his own website was not a security breach, says Ankit Fadia. He deliberately left loopholes
“Free speech is the cornerstone of any democratic edifice,” says 28-year-old Ankit Fadia, an independent computer security consultant and author of 14 books on computer security and ethical hacking. “I have always felt that Internet should be a place where the censors should not be used. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. Governments, organisations and institutions across the planet make an attempt to censor the Internet. In this book, ‘How to Unblock Everything on the Internet', I provide simple tips that will allow non-technical users to navigate the internet free of any censors or firewalls.”
Fadia was at the Flying Machine store in the city to launch his latest book.
He says: “This book does not use many technical terms and can be understood by the common folk. I plan to keep on bringing more techniques about unblocking websites in the public domain.”
Fadia does not support any form of online piracy, but he feels that legislation like the Stop Online Piracy Act or the Protect Intellectual Property Act proposed in the United States will not work in the fight against piracy.
“Piracy is a menace for anyone who draws a living out of the Internet. Legislations like SOPA spread the blanket too far and wide, and envisage banning any content that may violate copyright laws. Such moves are detrimental to the fundamentals of free speech and expression that the Internet is famous for. We need to find a medium path so that the rights of everyone involved are protected.”
Fadia also conducts classes and courses on ethical hacking. “Hacking per se is not a negative term. It can be used to commit crimes. It depends on the manner in which people use it. You can easily get all the information about making a bomb from the Internet, by just using Google, but that does not mean that you would go around setting bombs off. We take legal undertakings on a host of issues from prospective students, before we conduct classes.”
His account was recently hacked successfully by a hacker. Was that a security breach? “Not really,” replies Fadia.
“I often conduct contests asking programmers to try and hack my website. I also leave some bugs and loopholes on the site. Anyone who manages to hack successfully is asked to send their resume and is given a job. This particular person is also joining my firm soon.”
Apart from computers, Fadia is a travel freak. “I have been to almost 98 countries across the world. It was something I dreamt of as a child. As of now, this book and the updates that shall soon follow are taking a lot of my time. I hope to cross the 100 countries mark soon.”
“How to Unblock Everything on the Internet” costs Rs. 150 and is available at stores across the country.