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Pakistan: Nadra set to introduce online verification system (August 11, 2003)

The National Database Registration Authority (NADRA), utilizing its own resources, is providing a platform for e-government and technological advancement to the public and private sector. NADRA's new online identity verification service, called VERISYS, would help the financial institutions positively establish their customers' identities through a dial- up connection or virtual private network.


Online Websites Promote Transparent Local Government in Colombia

APC member in Colombia, Colnodo and Transparencia por Colombia (Transparency for Colombia) are working with the Mayorâs Offices in four cities to produce online websites that will help fight corruption and increase the publicâs access to government information. The websites and tools created by Colnodo are used to monitor and verify public spending and to publish the information in a user-friendly format for concerned citizens to consult.


India's Move To E-Governance Exposes Ancient System Flaws (July 22, 2003)

Keya Acharya 

The task is huge: less than 1% of the mammoth administration in India is computerised, and most has been done in a piecemeal fashion. The results are mixed.


India: Govt to start Rs 20,000 cr e-governance plan (February 12, 2003)

The Indian government is debating on plans to start a massive e-governance program that envisages a public-private partnership at a total cost of Rs 20,000 crore (Rs 200 billion) over the next five years.Termed the National e-Governance initiative, the program aims to bring in efficiency, transparency, cost effectiveness, simplicity into the government's operations while improving citizens' interface with the government.


Rebels in Ivory Coast set up website (October 33, 2002)

Rebels in Ivory Coast have set up a website and have begun broadcasting their own television programs from their central stronghold of Bouake. Since Monday evening, rebels have been broadcasting on the same channel as the Ivorian national network, RTI, which has hardly interrupted its transmissions since the uprising began on September 19.


Internet News Boost to Malaysian Political Reforms (August 1, 2002)

When Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad dramatically announced his resignation on 22 June, only to retract it an hour later, many sceptical Malaysians turned to the Internet to try to make sense of the stunning news. And in the hours leading up to the 25 June official announcement about the future of Mahathir, excitement reached fever pitch. Tens of thousands visited their favourite websites for the latest news. So heavy was the traffic that (Malaysia Now) sank under the weight, and many users were unable to access the site.  ăOur site couldnât handle the traffic ö the server couldnât handle it,ä marvels Steven Gan, editor of Malaysiakini which hosts an average 100,000 visitors a day. ăWe ourselves couldnât get into our website.ä


India: India's e-village tackles corruption (June 14, 2002)

Bellandur's e-governance project started with a single computer that was installed in the village in 1998 to replace the old typewriter. The village office now has three computers, funded by donations from wealthier farmers as well as companies that operate in the area.


Mauritius: A Cyber-Island in the Making (April 1, 2002)

Nasseem Ackbarally 

In all cases Mauritius is making the most of its status as a regional ö even global ö bridge, its dual Anglo-French heritage and its strategic location between Africa and South Asia in the Indian Ocean. These links are not just virtual. In 2000 Mauritius was connected to the South Africa Far East (SAFE) Submarine Fibre-optic Cable Project which is to link the island to Malaysia, South Africa, and then onwards to West Africa and Europe and bring high-speed connectivity.


China orders Net providers to screen e-mail (January 20, 2002)

BEIJING, China (AP) -- China has issued its most intrusive Internet controls to date, ordering service providers to screen private e-mail for political content and holding them responsible for subversive postings on their Web sites. The new rules, posted earlier this week on the Web site of the Ministry of Information Industry, represent Beijing's latest efforts to tighten its grip on the only major medium in China not already under state control.


India To Recognize Digital Signatures From March (January 9, 2002)
India is all set to enter the digital signature space. Two Indian companies will be issued the necessary licenses to become certifying agents to enable digital signature-based transactions in India by March this year.

According to K.N. Gupta, controller of Certifying Authorities (CAs), the introduction of digital signatures would give a boost to online transactions; they would be the key to overcoming e-security problems.


India To Give Serious Look At e-Governance (December 31, 2001)

The Planning Commission of India has said that if the whole country is to benefit with a reasonably uniform pace of growth, and to establish a Government-to-citizen interface, a more detailed look has to be given to the whole concept of e-governance. The working group on convergence and e-governance of the Planning Commission has also recommended that the Indian Government earmark US$587 million in addition to the 3 percent plan outlay of each ministry for e-governance and convergence projects during the 10th Five Year Plan (2002-2007).


Malaysia Lags Behind In E-Government Usage

Only 11 percent of Malaysians have used the Net to access government data, provide information to government agencies, or to transact with government services online, according to the study by market researcher Taylor Nelson Sofres. Norway had the highest level of e-government usage at 53 percent, followed by Denmark, Canada, Finland, the U.S., Hong Kong and Australia. 


Brazil to open post office Internet booths (November 6, 2001)

SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) -- Brazil is pledging to install Internet booths in 4,000 post offices next year, giving free Web access to some 150 million people in a massive effort to bridge the country's gaping digital divide, President Fernando Henrique Carodoso announced. In his regular weekly radio address to the nation Tuesday, Cardoso promised to ``guarantee one of the great conquests of the modern world'' to the nation's residents. The kiosks will be placed in cities with 10,000 residents or more, and then put in areas with smaller populations. The first phase is expected to be done by the first quarter of 2002.


Hyderabad to use computers to bypass bureaucracy (August 27, 2001)

Accomplishing even the simplest of tasks in India can often involve days or even months of bureaucratic wrangling. But for the citizens of Hyderabad - the capital of Andhra Pradesh, one of India's largest states - the dreaded office babu or bureaucrat could soon be shoved aside by computers. The city, home to a large proportion of India's thriving software companies, is planning to open a network of computerised one-stop shops that will enable "customers" to clear 18 separate bureaucratic hurdles in one visit.


Indian help sought for global 'e-parliament' (August, 2001)
Bangalore, July 17 (IANS) India's information technology (IT) industry has been asked to provide massive technological backing for an effort to set up a global "e-parliament". Indian IT would facilitate the meeting of 25,000 elected representatives, discussing and debating on problems confronting the world. It could, perhaps, change the way the world thinks and decides on such issues as AIDS, population growth, children's rights and strengthening of the United Nations.

Brazil: Casting a Wider Net in Brazil  (July 30, 2001)
RECIFE, Brazil -- Efforts to connect Brazil to the 21st century continue in earnest as governments and non-governmental organizations endeavor to provide Internet access to poor and rural areas. According to Brazilian Planning Minister Martus Tavares, the government is about to invest $400 million this year to expand Internet use in Brazil. "The idea is to reduce the exclusion of 160 million Brazilians who are outside of the fastest growing sector in the world," Tavares said. According to government studies, about 11.1 million of the more than 160 million Brazilians are currently online.

Mobile Phone Use Has Improved Public Discourse (July 2, 2001)

The growing number of mobile phones is transforming the Ugandan society. While there is evidently increased excitement about the emergent technology, the ease and convenience of communicating has improved public discourse and given impetus to development initiatives. Now villagers can even fire questions at the Ugandan president, both parties, of course, living worlds apart.

Local and regional government online - timely services are key to success (June 20, 2001)

Local and provincial governments always claim to be closer to their citizens, in more than just a geographical sense, than their counterparts in national government can ever be. Around the world, e-government initiatives are being implemented, which may not only streamline administration, but also reinvigorate the democratic process.
Online opportunity to transform administrations and services at all levels (June 18, 2001)

While e-government really refers to electronic transactions, not just to online services, it is the internet's open standards that are driving the public sector towards the sort of transformation experienced by the private sector over the past ten years. But what is becoming clear is that the process of putting public services online is about much more than IT. It demands fundamental changes in the public sector's traditional structures and practices and in the relationship between the state and its citizens.
Tech helps root out corruption in rural India (May 31, 2001)

The southern state of Karnataka, which is championing the process to rebut criticism that its software boom is only for the rich, now plans to guide the rest of India in a plan which is aimed at fighting corruption and boosting transparency. "It is all low-cost," says Rajeev Chawla, a senior state revenue department official who is spearheading the e-governance initiative. Amid the mango and coconut groves of Ramanagaram, farmers walk into a state-run "Bhoo Dhakilegala Malige", or land-record shop, and buy certified printouts of land records which help them verify or prove land ownership or tenancy.
Faint Voices Rise From Cuba (May 29, 2001)

Indeed, stories such as "Communism Compared to HIV" are more rant than unbiased news.

But academics such as Green say the reporters don't have a good model to build on -- the only journalism they know is the government press, which has its own slant.

"A lot of them have never worked for the free press before. They don't understand how a free press really works and don't understand the idea of balance."
CD-ROM in Viet Nam puts laws in citizens' hands (May 16, 2001)

Your Lawyer, a new CD-ROM, is making Viet Nam's laws and information on citizens' rights readily accessible, spelling out in simple language how to start a business, protect land rights and get a divorce. As a first step, the Office of the National Assembly (ONA) is distributing copies of the CD-ROM to offices of delegates to the National Assembly in all 61 provinces, offices of provincial People's Councils, and media organizations.


Britain Sponsors Computer Training for Women MPs (May 16, 2001)

The cross-party group of Tanzanian women Parliamentarians will soon be computer literacy following the decision by the Britain to sponsor computer training, a program that aim to empower them socially and politically.  They say that the skills obtained from the training would help the Women Parliamentarians to run other income generating activities outside the National Assembly. The program, the statement says, would enable financial position of women parliamentarians and empower them in both political and democratization process.
Iran shuts internet cafés (May 13, 2001)

Police in Tehran have shut down several hundred internet cafes over the past week in a crackdown believed to be driven by concerns of the state telecommunications monopoly that it is losing business to the newly emerging private sector. Hambastegi, a pro-reform newspaper, reported on Sunday that the police Department to Supervise Public Places had closed over 400 internet cafés on the grounds that they had no permits, although no such permits yet exist.

Advocacy group defends more John Does (May 7, 2001)

Following a victory in a similar case in Washington state, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has signed onto another John Doe lawsuit in an attempt to protect online anonymity. The EFF said it filed a motion in Federal District Court in the Northern District of California to prevent the disclosure of the identities of 14 people who criticized online health care-equipment store Medinex Systems in a Yahoo message board. The company has sued anonymous posters who've adopted names including "zippershut" and "dotcommie2000," claiming their critical comments amounted to defamation and interference with its business. 

Saudi Arabia will use new, advanced equipment to block access to 200,000 Internet sites it considers offensive, doubling the number of sites already restricted, a Saudi official said Sunday. "We are blocking sites on a daily basis and the new campaign will begin soon," said Ebrahim al-Fareeh, Internet supervisor at the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, which filters all Internet traffic to the kingdom. 


Public pressure keeps Opengov open (May 2, 2001)

The UK's first official government website has won a last-minute reprieve after plans to close it provoked a huge outcry from both the press and public., which was launched by the then-prime minister John Major in 1994, was due to close at the end of next month, to be replaced by the multi-million pound UKonline site.
Ghana: Low-Tech Democracy (May 1, 2001)

The information revolution has come to Africa, and last December it had a direct impact on bringing about the first-ever peaceful transition from one elected civilian government to another in Ghana. This was a hugely important political event for West Africa, but it got lost in America's post- election ruckus. Ghana's turnabout would not have happened, though, without the information revolution here. Thank the Lord for the information revolution. You gotta love technology. Oh, I'm not talking about the Internet. I'm talking about FM radio.
Global Press Freedom Improves (April 30, 2001)

Freedom House finds that press freedom registered overall gains throughout the world in 2000. However, despite the positive trends reflected in the latest annual Survey of Press Freedom, freedom of expression was dealt a severe blow in a number of large and geopolitically important countries. The Survey also finds that Internet freedom exceeds levels of press freedom in most countries, including some closed societies governed by censorious regimes.


Survey draws e-gov opinions (April 30, 2001)

Iowa is asking its citizens to brainstorm ways of improving the state‰s e-government services.

Through a Web-based survey, Iowans can submit ideas on how to improve current digital services and programs or suggest new ones. The survey asks people to describe their idea and how it would work; suggest a working title for the project; define whom it would benefit; and identify the county in which they live.


E-mail 'could win' key seats (April 26, 2001)

E-mail could play a key role in deciding the winner of key marginal seats in the forthcoming general election, according to experts.Many MPs will be defending slender majorities when the country goes to the polls, widely expected in June. And analysts believe that some sitting MPs and many candidates would be well advised to use technology to help them into the House of Commons.

Australian State Unveils Online Legal System (April 25, 2001)

An online court system has been launched in the Australian state of New South Wales that allows lawyers to register hearing dates and other matters on the Net, and gives the public Internet access to court transcripts. The New South Wales Government's first online court system is attached to the Land and Environment Court in Sydney.
FTC Launching International Internet Fraud-Prevention Site (April 24, 2001)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Tuesday will launch a new Web site aimed at resolving international e-commerce disputes by allowing Internet users from around the world to file complaints at one location. The new site - - will serve as an international extension of the FTC's popular "Consumer Sentinel" database, which collects consumer fraud complaints and disseminates them to law enforcers.
Protest sites galore! Power to the people! (April 23, 2001)

Despite numerous "judgments" against owners of protest sites, it seems that the little man is unswayed and the Internet remains a perfect medium for making grumblings heard. Here are three recent examples. One has been squashed, another has the legal letter and another has just gone up. Oh, and a bonus fourth, which is a protest site of a protest site.
Indian Government Wants To Regulate Internet (April 20, 2001)
India's information and broadcasting minister Sushma Swaraj has said she would like to control and regulate the Internet, if it is technically feasible. The Indian Government is planning to form a Media Council. Currently, the country has a Press Council, which regulates newspapers and magazines, and a Film Censor Board, which governs movies. The two entities will be merged to form the Media Council.
Centralized electronic media not sustainable (April 18, 2001)
The governments in South Asia are rather slow in realizing that it might no longer be possible for them to sustain centralized electronic media, said David Page on Tuesday at the launching ceremony of the book "Satellites Over South Asia: Broadcasting, Culture and the Public Interest", which he co-authored with William Crawley. "The governments of South Asia are slow to take up the concept of decentralized media," said Mr Page. Their mindset is resilient even though one wonders whether they would really be able to sustain the centralized media in this age of the satellites, he said.
Many Govt Web Sites Routinely Track Visitors - Report (April 17, 2001) 

More than 60 federal government Web sites use permanent "cookies," or tiny text files that track visitors' movements online, in clear violation of federal law, according to a preliminary report released today.
Canada, U.S. Among Top Countries for E-Government (April 16, 2001)
Governments have begun to close the gap between political rhetoric and reality as they bring their e-government visions to life, but they aren't there yet, according to the second annual global e-government study by Accenture.
Study: U.S. ranks third in e-government (April 5, 2001)

The United States ranks third in the world in overall progress in implementing electronig government efforts, according to a new study. The United States dropped from last year‰s first-place ranking and is now behind second-place Singapore and the new first-place leader, Canada.

India: Link up rural India (April 4, 2001)

Currently, more than half of India‰s villages lack telephone connectivity let alone internet access; the arrival of the information revolution to India is in doubt.

The 26 million phone lines (mostly business-owned) and 2 million internet subscribers that do exist nationwide are highly concentrated in urban areas, leaving rural areas out of the loop and harming the interests of both groups.

Report: Worldwide E-Government Still Overcoming Hurdles (April 4, 2001)

Although many government bodies are taking steps to implement online services, a report released Tuesday by consulting firm Accenture concludes they still have "a long way to go." The study, "Rhetoric vs. Reality - Closing the Gap," found that only in rare cases can businesses conduct transactions with government entities via the Internet.

Free Internet access to Orissa High Court records (April 1, 2001)

Litigants fighting cases in the Orissa High Court will now have free Internet access to case records following the inauguration of two Web sites by state Chief Justice N.Y. Hanumanthappa. A litigant can easily find out in which court his case is appearing and its listing. Besides, the search engines of the Web site will help a litigant or the general public to find details related to a particular case.
The Role of Online Publication in the Promotion of Democracy (March 30, 2001)

The Internet is Africa's political corrupticians' nightmare. In other words, news- media- information censorship by political dictators is curtailed at the door of the Internet. Ask Yugoslav's Slobodan Milosovic whose regime was toppled by the technology of the Internet and satellite comunications. The irony is that the "unimportant" people that the media target in under-developed and developing countries like Sierra Leone for instance, are hardly in a position to access the Internet.
French to Debate E-Voting Plans (March 30, 2001)

A bill that would legalize cyber-elections in France has been proposed by a deputy in the National Assembly. Alain Ferry, a deputy from the Bas-Rhin region, has filed a proposition for a law with the National Assembly that would authorize Internet-based voting from home, said a spokeswoman for the deputy.
 Estonia set for online elections (March 28, 2001)
On the same day the cabinet minister, Mo Mowlam, said that Britain is not ready for an internet election, the Estonian government yesterday announced plans to move to electronic voting in time for the country's 2003 general elections. The Estonian ambassador to London, Raul Mälk, said his government hoped the move to online voting will attract greater participation in elections and political debate, especially among young people.
India : NIC Haryana develops five softwares for improving efficiency of the state government (March 23, 2001)

The Haryana unit of National Informatics Centre (NIC) has developed a package of five softwares to "improve efficiency of various departments of the state government". These five softwares are payroll system, personnel information system, court cases monitoring system, diary or despatch (DAK) monitoring meetings information monitoring systems, state informatics officer, G Bansal, said here on Tuesday.
Thailand : Digitizing a Nation (March 8, 2001)

By any quantitative  measure, Thailand's New Economy has collapsed. Hundreds of dotcoms have self-destructed without viable business models; eyeing that failure, most traditional Thai bricks-and-mortar firms have eschewed the electric plunge.
US: Internet voting in no "Magic Bullet," distinguished committee reports  (March 6, 2001)

Trials should proceed in which Internet terminals are used at traditional polling places, but remote voting from home or the workplace is not viable in the near future. So says a new report, commissioned by the National Science Foundation (NSF), in which a committee of experts calls for further research into complex security and reliability obstacles that for now impede the Internet's use in public elections.

Australia : New Digital Copyright Act Triggers E-Mail Alarm (March 5, 2001)

A new set of copyright laws recently passed in Australia have drummed up concern that Internet users could be prosecuted for forwarding e-mail, although the attorney general has been quick to state that sharing e-mail is not banned by law.

Cuba:  Officials deny blocking Internet access to ordinary citizens (March 3, 2001)

HAVANA (AP) -- Rejecting suggestions that Cuba's communist government blocks Internet service to ordinary citizens, officials are promising more access once Cuba improves its infrastructure. Authorities are working toward ``providing technological information to the masses,'' Vice Minister of Informatics and Telecommunications Melchor Gil Morel told reporters Friday. 

Pakistan : Introduction of e-district soon (March 3, 2001)

ISLAMABAD, March 3: The National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) on Friday announced the introduction of e-district in the country claiming that all basic and even minute data of each and every district of Pakistan would be available on computer till August, 2001. Under what is named as National Reconstruction Management System (NRMS) computerised information about district officials, their strength and career; school, hospital, dispensaries etc and their staff; roads, buildings and departments; development projects and schemes etc. will be available.

Wired Future for Courtrooms (March 1, 2001)

In a not-too-distant future, courtrooms could exist only in cyberspace, with crime scenes re-created as holograms and trial participants seeing each other only through virtual reality glasses. That's the kind of magic ``Courtroom 21'' at the College of William and Mary has a taste of. In a recent demonstration, a judge presided from his home court in Portland, Ore., and a witness testified from Orlando, Fla. On the bench and in the witness box were huge televisions, where they could talk via Internet videoconferencing.

Rights: 45 Countries Suppress Internet Access for Citizens (February 28, 2001)

Governments in 45 countries across the developing world are being taken to task for placing restrictions on their citizens' ability to access information on the internet. In most cases, government control has been achieved by compelling citizens to subscribe to a state-run Internet Service Provider (ISP), charges Reporters Without Borders (known by its French acronym RSF, for Reporters Sans Frontiers).

Sweden :  Companies can file their tax returns online (February 28, 2001)

Swedish companies can from now on file their tax forms online. The trial period has just begun, and the Riksskatteverket, the Swedish tax department, expects 12,000 - 15,000 companies to be using this web service within 6 months. The process is not very complicated and the signing of the forms can be done through digital signatures. The new service is expected to bring significant savings in both time and money for both the companies and the Riksskatteverket.

E-Government Challenged By Differing Encryption Standards (February 27, 2001)

The drive to create a truly successful "e-government," where citizens can access all federal government resources online, is being slowed by the difficulty in meshing incompatible encryption technologies across government agencies, according to a report issued Tuesday by the General Accounting Office (GAO). 

Uganda : Government selects VIISAGE for new electoral system (February 27, 2001) Viisage Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: VISG), the leader in face-recognition biometric technology and in providing digital identification systems and solutions, announced today that it has been awarded a contract by the Electoral Commission of Uganda to implement and maintain a turnkey face recognition system in support of Uganda's national elections. The system will support a database containing a minimum of ten million images. The project requires that a digital image be acquired for every registered voter and validated for the purpose of eliminating duplicate registrations within the ten million voter registration database.

Vietnam :  Internet Under New Management (February 25, 2001)

Responsibility for the regulation and development of the Internet in Vietnam passed from the science ministry to a telecommunications department last week. Vietnam's prime minister has ordered the Department General of Posts and Telecommunications (DGPT) to take over management functions from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment.

Cuba : Not so libre with the Net (February 23, 2001)

Internet and e-mail access in Cuba is as jealously guarded as Fidel Castro's chokehold on power. But that hasn't stopped enterprising Cubans from finding ways to flout government restrictions. The Cuban government controls the country's only Internet gateway and four national ISPs. Out of 11 million Cubans, only about 40,000 academics and government workers are permitted to have Internet and e-mail accounts, according to government spokesman Luis Fernandez. 

PRAGUE "Leave the Internet alone" (February 22, 2001)

Internet should remain a secure and accessible tool for social justice, says Prague meeting of communication activists. PRAGUE "Leave the Internet alone" This was the core message addressed to governments and big business by a group of lawyers, computer programmers, academics, and communications activists from East and West Europe who gathered here from February 18 to 22 to plan a defense of the Internet for social justice work. The conference was organized by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), an international association of not-for-profit organizations which promote an Internet for social justice and development.

Singapore : counts on the net (February 22, 2001)

Census analysts in Singapore say the country's 2000 census, the first to use online methods, was a success.  Singapore, long acknowledged as an e-government world leader, has successfully completed its first online census. In a speech marking the end of work on the 2000 census, George Yeo, the country's Minister for Trade and Industry, explained that the Internet, along with a new census methodology, had enabled the Singapore government to obtain better results.

Harried women go online  (February 21,  2001)
Women are making more use than men of government online services say researchers. Use of government online services is steadily rising, according to the latest figures from research firm Jupiter MMXI, which monitors online usage across commercial and public sector websites.
 India: Communications Revolution set to transform 1,000 Tamil villages (February 10, 2001)
Give me the Internet and I'll tell you what I can do with it" was the response of a TV dealer when he was asked how he would use the Internet, says Elizabeth Alexander, Project Coordinator, Sustainable Access in Rural India. The SARI (Sustainable Access in Rural India) project seeks to provide Internet and Voice connectivity in the villages of Madurai district. Internet services will be provided through an ISP license and will be enabled by leasing bandwidth from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. Work on this project, being launched in mid-February, began in October 2000.

Israeli candidates swap sharpest barbs on Net  (January 23, 2001)

JERUSALEM (AP) -- A cartoon tank, driven by a caricature of hard-line candidate Ariel Sharon, rumbles across the computer screen and tramples the word "peace" in the slogan, "Only Sharon will bring peace." It's one of the less-than-subtle messages being distributed to true believers by Prime Minister Ehud Barak's Internet campaign team as Israel's February 6 election approaches.

Filipinos rally to oust the president (January 20, 2001)

C U @ the revolution: text messages summon millions on to streets of Manila, forcing government's collapse. Thousands of protesters marched to the presidential palace in Manila in the early hours of this morning after the collapse of the government of President Joseph Estrada in the Philippines.


Fighting Corruption Online (October 30, 2000)

The Internet has been used to sell, promote and advocate. So, why not advocate fighting corruption online at a time when the highest official in the land is under fire for various allegations of graft and corruption? The Transparent Accountable Governance project (at is an attempt to summarize how, why and to what degree corruption exists in Philippine society," explains the Web site. Initiative is conceived and managed by:


Vikas Nath

Inlaks Fellow (2000-1), London School of Economics, UK

Founder, Initiative


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