Ir Daniel Lai: Right, I’m the Government Chief Information Officer. As the GCIO I’m respon­si­ble for three areas. One is the appli­ca­tion of IT with­in government—with the use of Internet of course. And anoth­er area is dig­i­tal inclu­sion for the whole soci­ety. And third­ly to facil­i­tate ICT devel­op­ment in Hong Kong. So my role in rela­tion in the Internet would be help­ing all the cit­i­zens access the Internet in a very con­ve­nient and cost-effective manner. 

Intertitle: Describe the cur­rent state of the Internet in Hong Kong.

Lai: Hong Kong since our lib­er­al­iza­tion of the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion, I think the Internet pen­e­tra­tion has been going real well. Right at this moment we have Internet access of 86% pen­e­tra­tion into homes, and most com­mer­cial sec­tors also use the Internet. Of course, our broad­band goes into almost all homes as well as com­mer­cial build­ings. So we have recent­ly tak­en a look, and the use of the Internet for ecom­merce has been on the rise. And almost all of the com­mer­cial sec­tors, they use Internet one way or the other. 

Intertitle: What action should be tak­en to ensure the best pos­si­ble future?

Lai: I think one is to ensure— In order to have secure and safe access, I think we have to con­tin­ue to look at how effec­tive infor­ma­tion secu­ri­ty is, and ensure that all the trans­ac­tions are car­ried out in a secure man­ner. That’s why my office is also respon­si­ble for one leg­is­la­tion, which is the Electronic Transactions Ordinance. This ordi­nance is actu­al­ly linked with the pub­lic key infra­struc­ture that actu­al­ly we now use for elec­tron­ic cer­tifi­cate dig­i­tal sig­na­ture. So for authen­ti­ca­tion and also for non-repudiation of all the sign­ing over the Internet. So that gives legal back­ing in terms of doing Internet trans­ac­tions over the Internet.