Linux User Group of Mauritius Promoting open source software in our beautiful island

26Sep/150

Privacy Compliance Assessment in Mauritius

Posted by Ish

Privacy is a subject that is poorly understood in Mauritius. I often see local websites collecting information through contact forms yet having no privacy policy or some times the policy is a mere “copy & paste” without considering compliance as per the Data Protection Act 2004 of Mauritius.

Privacy Compliance Assessment in MauritiusCompliance with the Data Protection Act can be a cumbersome process for many. Some might even ignore it as very few people ever question about privacy in Mauritius. Nonetheless, the law remains the law. To help in making privacy simpler to understand and comply with, several months ago, Nadim Bundhoo, Nirvan Pagooah, Ajay Ramjatan, S. Moonesamy and I collaborated on a project, which we called the “Privacy Compliance Assessment” webapp.

The Privacy Compliance Assessment web application can be accessed at http://www.elandsys.com/~sm/privacy-mu.

As per the Data Protection Act, a “data controller” is a person who either alone or jointly with any other person, makes a decision with regard to the purposes for which and in the manner in which any personal data are, or are to be, processed.

A data controller needs to make sure that procedures of collection, processing and storage of personal data as set are compliant with the Data Protection Act 2004 of Mauritius.

We’re thankful to the Data Protection Commissioner, Mrs. Drudeisha Madhub and her team, who provided us the relevant information. The Data Protection Office helped us throughout the project with regular reviews and suggesting amendments.

The Data Protection Commissioner accepted our invitation to introduce the webapp and do a presentation during the Developers Conference 2015.

How does the app work?

The application runs on the client side, that is your Internet browser. The assessment takes you through a series of questions that can be answered with a Yes/No toggle button. At the end of the assessment, you’re told whether your organization is compliant with the Data Protection Act 2004. Information that you provide are not sent back to the server. You may run the assessment as many times as you require.

The web application is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2. You may use the app, modify it and redistribute it as allowed under GNU GPLv2.

We aim to present “privacy” in a simple way and make “privacy compliance” a bit of a fun thing to achieve :)


On 15 May 2014, I highlighted a major privacy breach on the mnic.mu website where personal data collected through Google Forms were exposed on the Internet.

On 1 June 2014, I reported a data leak on the government web portal that affected over 9,000 people.

On 7 July 2014, I presented security flaws on the government web portal that could lead to data leakage.

On 5 October 2014, I wrote about my concerns over the use of Face recognition CCTV cameras in urban areas of Mauritius.

On 3 October 2014, S. Moonesamy reported privacy concerns with konetou advertising.

On 21 September 2015, S. Moonesamy wrote to the Government Online Centre regarding the “privacy policy” of www.govmu.org.

On 23 September 2015, I wrote to the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation, highlighting my concerns as to the collection of personal data through the “login captcha” on the government web portal.

The post Privacy Compliance Assessment in Mauritius appeared first on HACKLOG.

5Aug/150

LibreOffice 5 installation on openSUSE, Fedora, CentOS etc…

Posted by Ish

Twitter’s flooding with LibreOffice 5’s arrival. Oh! Flooding? Well, only if you’re following the *nix geeks :)

LibreOffice 5 was released today. Those who are used to only hear about the Microsoft Suite, well there exist other productivity suites out in the wild. LibreOffice is among them. It was forked from OpenOffice in 2010. Since then several Linux distributions bundled the LibreOffice Suite in their default install. LibreOffice is written in C++, Java and Python, and is available in 114 languages.

The LibreOffice 5 official package should be rolled out for the stable distros in the coming weeks, if not months. As for the curious who’d like to get hands dirty, just follow the article for a LibreOffice 5 installation. One thing, I’ve kept in the title openSUSE, Fedora and CentOS but the installation would cater for any RPM-based distribution. I haven’t tested the DEB archive but I guess it should be somewhat similar.

LibreOffice 5 installation

The tarball can be either downloaded by visiting the download page at libreoffice.org or from this mirror. Torrent links are available too. Once you have obtained the package LibreOffice_5.0.0_Linux_x86-64_rpm.tar.gz you uncompress it as follows:

tar zxvf LibreOffice_5.0.0_Linux_x86-64_rpm.tar.gz

The extracted files & folders include an installation script licensed under MPL v2. You may peek into if you’d want to know what it does.

Enter the directory that contains the install script and launch the installation as follows:

./install RPMS .

The second dot implies that it should be installed at the current path. Hit enter and the progress will be shown.

####################################################################
#     Installation of the found packages                           #
####################################################################

Path to the database:        /home/ish/Downloads/LibreOffice_5.0.0.5_Linux_x86-64_rpm/.RPM_OFFICE_DATABASE
Path to the packages:        RPMS
Path to the installation:    .

Installing the RPMs
Preparing...                          ################################# [100%]
Updating / installing...
   1:libreoffice5.0-ure-5.0.0.5-5     ################################# [  2%]
   2:libobasis5.0-core-5.0.0.5-5      ################################# [  4%]
   3:libobasis5.0-en-US-5.0.0.5-5     ################################# [  7%]
   4:libobasis5.0-writer-5.0.0.5-5    ################################# [  9%]
   5:libobasis5.0-base-5.0.0.5-5      ################################# [ 11%]
   6:libobasis5.0-impress-5.0.0.5-5   ################################# [ 13%]
   7:libobasis5.0-en-US-calc-5.0.0.5-5################################# [ 16%]
   8:libobasis5.0-en-US-writer-5.0.0.5################################# [ 18%]
   9:libobasis5.0-en-US-res-5.0.0.5-5 ################################# [ 20%]
  10:libobasis5.0-en-US-math-5.0.0.5-5################################# [ 22%]
  11:libobasis5.0-en-US-base-5.0.0.5-5################################# [ 24%]
  12:libobasis5.0-images-5.0.0.5-5    ################################# [ 27%]
  13:libreoffice5.0-5.0.0.5-5         ################################# [ 29%]
  14:libobasis5.0-math-5.0.0.5-5      ################################# [ 31%]
  15:libobasis5.0-draw-5.0.0.5-5      ################################# [ 33%]
  16:libobasis5.0-calc-5.0.0.5-5      ################################# [ 36%]
  17:libobasis5.0-pyuno-5.0.0.5-5     ################################# [ 38%]
  18:libobasis5.0-librelogo-5.0.0.5-5 ################################# [ 40%]
  19:libreoffice5.0-calc-5.0.0.5-5    ################################# [ 42%]
  20:libreoffice5.0-draw-5.0.0.5-5    ################################# [ 44%]
  21:libreoffice5.0-math-5.0.0.5-5    ################################# [ 47%]
  22:libreoffice5.0-dict-en-5.0.0.5-5 ################################# [ 49%]
  23:libreoffice5.0-impress-5.0.0.5-5 ################################# [ 51%]
  24:libreoffice5.0-base-5.0.0.5-5    ################################# [ 53%]
  25:libreoffice5.0-en-US-5.0.0.5-5   ################################# [ 56%]
  26:libreoffice5.0-dict-es-5.0.0.5-5 ################################# [ 58%]
  27:libreoffice5.0-dict-fr-5.0.0.5-5 ################################# [ 60%]
  28:libreoffice5.0-writer-5.0.0.5-5  ################################# [ 62%]
  29:libobasis5.0-ogltrans-5.0.0.5-5  ################################# [ 64%]
  30:libobasis5.0-postgresql-sdbc-5.0.################################# [ 67%]
  31:libobasis5.0-onlineupdate-5.0.0.5################################# [ 69%]
  32:libobasis5.0-ooofonts-5.0.0.5-5  ################################# [ 71%]
  33:libobasis5.0-filter-data-5.0.0.5-################################# [ 73%]
  34:libobasis5.0-kde-integration-5.0.################################# [ 76%]
  35:libobasis5.0-extension-javascript################################# [ 78%]
  36:libobasis5.0-xsltfilter-5.0.0.5-5################################# [ 80%]
  37:libobasis5.0-python-script-provid################################# [ 82%]
  38:libobasis5.0-ooolinguistic-5.0.0.################################# [ 84%]
  39:libobasis5.0-extension-report-bui################################# [ 87%]
  40:libobasis5.0-graphicfilter-5.0.0.################################# [ 89%]
  41:libobasis5.0-extension-mediawiki-################################# [ 91%]
  42:libobasis5.0-extension-beanshell-################################# [ 93%]
  43:libobasis5.0-extension-nlpsolver-################################# [ 96%]
  44:libobasis5.0-extension-pdf-import################################# [ 98%]
  45:libobasis5.0-gnome-integration-5.################################# [100%]

Installation done ...

If no errors occurred you should find a folder named opt created. This makes it easy if you want to move your LibreOffice 5 instance to the traditional /opt path. However, from the current path you can launch LibreOffice Writer as follows:

./opt/libreoffice5.0/program/swriter

LibreOffice 5 installation

You will get LibreOffice Writer, Calc, Base, Draw, Math and Impress with the following commands:

./opt/libreoffice5.0/program/swriter
./opt/libreoffice5.0/program/scalc
./opt/libreoffice5.0/program/sbase
./opt/libreoffice5.0/program/sdraw
./opt/libreoffice5.0/program/smath
./opt/libreoffice5.0/program/simpress

Otherwise, just shoot ./opt/libreoffice5.0/program/soffice and you get the LibreOffice 5 welcome screen with shortcuts to each application.

LibreOffice 5 installation


To have a clean setup, you could move the libreoffice5.0 folder to /opt and have some sweet symlinks. Let’s do it; stay on the current path and shoot:

sudo mv opt/libreoffice5.0 /opt
ln -s /opt/libreoffice5.0/program/swriter /usr/local/bin/writer

You could do for the rest, right? Now, press Alt + F2, type writer and hit the return button. LibreOffice Writer shoots up!

To my fellow non-Linux friendly folks, the free software community makes LibreOffice available for Windows and Mac OS X as well and installation is painless :)

The post LibreOffice 5 installation on openSUSE, Fedora, CentOS etc… appeared first on HACKLOG.

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7Jun/150

Getting the job done with Vim

Posted by Ish

Last Friday, Cyril pinged for an after-office beer party. It’s all legitimate for a Friday evening :-)

beer-party-talk

At my workplace I in-turn bugged Kaviraj, a networking fellow who enjoys the usual geek talks.

We finished work and reached Flying Dodo some time after 19h00. Cyril and the others had taken the table outside. We could that way enjoy the cozy weather, not too warm neither cold, listen to the live band and have a chilled beer. To make it more fun I asked for pizza.

A while later Mike joined us. Kaviraj, Mike and I got into some fun chatting about CLI tools. Mike was talking about “vi” and we shared the handy tricks when editing config files.

Commenting multiple lines in Vim

To toggle between line numbering and without line numbers, do :set nu and :set nu!. The line numbers are useful when editing config files, say when you need to comment a block of directives (e.g from line 15 to 25). You would do :15,25s/^/#/g to comment and commenting out would be :15,25s/^#//g.

In-line replacement of a word

At times you find a long word in a line which you need to replace. While your cursor is at the beginning of the word, you press cw and enter the new word. It’s replaced. Is it difficult to remember cw ? Just remember “change word” :-)

Saving with “root” privilege

Ever edited a file and while saving you realise you actually require super-privilege? It happens when you are tinkering as a regular user and the file is owned by root. If you’re a sudoer then the following could save you time:

:w !sudo tee %

The ! symbol allows you to execute shell commands and the % signifies the current file. We’re thus saying update by sending the content to the current file with sudo privilege.

Find and replace

To trigger a find we could simply do /theword and press n to hop to the next occurrence of the word. We could search the whole file for a particular word and replace all occurrences:

:%s/theword/anotherword/g

We could also limit the find & replace within a block of lines.

:15,25s/theword/anotherword/g

For more fine-tuning of the search, regular expressions would come handy.


Kaviraj & I left Flying Dodo at 21h00. That was a short moment having a geek chit-chat with like-minded folks.

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7Jun/150

Getting the job done with Vim

Posted by Ish

Last Friday, Cyril pinged for an after-office beer party. It’s all legitimate for a Friday evening :-)

beer-party-talk

At my workplace I in-turn bugged Kaviraj, a networking fellow who enjoys the usual geek talks.

We finished work and reached Flying Dodo some time after 19h00. Cyril and the others had taken the table outside. We could that way enjoy the cozy weather, not too warm neither cold, listen to the live band and have a chilled beer. To make it more fun I asked for pizza.

A while later Mike joined us. Kaviraj, Mike and I got into some fun chatting about CLI tools. Mike was talking about “vi” and we shared the handy tricks when editing config files.

Commenting multiple lines in Vim

To toggle between line numbering and without line numbers, do :set nu and :set nu!. The line numbers are useful when editing config files, say when you need to comment a block of directives (e.g from line 15 to 25). You would do :15,25s/^/#/g to comment and commenting out would be :15,25s/^#//g.

In-line replacement of a word

At times you find a long word in a line which you need to replace. While your cursor is at the beginning of the word, you press cw and enter the new word. It’s replaced. Is it difficult to remember cw ? Just remember “change word” :-)

Saving with “root” privilege

Ever edited a file and while saving you realise you actually require super-privilege? It happens when you are tinkering as a regular user and the file is owned by root. If you’re a sudoer then the following could save you time:

:w !sudo tee %

The ! symbol allows you to execute shell commands and the % signifies the current file. We’re thus saying update by sending the content to the current file with sudo privilege.

Find and replace

To trigger a find we could simply do /theword and press n to hop to the next occurrence of the word. We could search the whole file for a particular word and replace all occurrences:

:%s/theword/anotherword/g

We could also limit the find & replace within a block of lines.

:15,25s/theword/anotherword/g

For more fine-tuning of the search, regular expressions would come handy.


Kaviraj & I left Flying Dodo at 21h00. That was a short moment having a geek chit-chat with like-minded folks.

Tagged as: No Comments