India has been famous or rather infamous for making non-issues into serious controversies and the latest being the Blackberry case. Being the world’s fastest growing IT power, India has busied itself in the realms of deciphering the mails sent via the Blackberry network rather than developing reliable technology to take-on terrorism which in turn, is making full use of the resources available to them, including technology. A classic example can be the Jaipur blasts culprits sending videos of targeted police stations to the media.
Even when the tragedy has struck as recent as a less than a fortnight ago in Jaipur, India is busy redrawing sketches of the accused rather than focusing all energies on developing speedy and fool-proof technology to minimize the attacks.
In the pretext of safety, India still hasn’t managed to seal its airports completely to the terrorists’ threats. With airports being primary and most vulnerable areas of strike, a greater use of technology is required. Terror groups all around the globe are making use of Liquid Explosives (LE) which need special technology to be detected, but India is still oblivious to the fact and continues to maintain a straight face. The methods of making these LEs are readily available on the internet, through legitimate sources as well. With countries like Japan and other European nations deploying the latest technology available to detect these LEs, we still wait for cows to come home. According to the the US National Counter terrorism Centre, India has lost close to 3,800 lives due to terrorist attacks.
It will be interesting to see the role of the Indian government as to how they employ technology to counter terrorism in India. With reports like China hacking into the governmental websites and the government being clueless about it just draws our attention towards the apathy of the Indian government towards the use of better technology. Recently, an Indian embassy’s website was hacked by a layman just to prove the lax in India’s security. The man made a point but India did not bother to correct the mistake, and is instead making life of Research in Motion (RIM) difficult as she believes that all the terrorists are using Blackberry to send emails and a stricter monitoring of the servers are required, more than anything else.
What she fails to realise is that developing this technology will not only help in securing lives of her citizens, but will also be highly useful for public health, law enforcement, or general intelligence purposes.
It is true that the most important contribution of science and technology to curb terrorism is in respect to communications. But clinging on to Blackberry and its transferring its servers to India is no solution to the problem. We need to be mature enough to understand the gravity of the situation and act in a manner which is harmful to the terrorists and not anyone else.