26/11 and mobile technology

I am writing this article in the wake of 26th November or 26/11.This day has gained name of Black Wednesday in the history of India. On this day last year terror attacks were made in Mumbai. Close to 175 civilians lost their lives, 12 policemen and 2 NSG commandos became martyrs.
Technology has made our life very convenient however if technology is not used in a proper way. It can also create disastrous effects.
I was watching a documentary on 26/11 on Discovery channel, it was really insightful how the technology helped few of the people to rescue or get in touch with the outside world. People were able to see live news which was shown live on the television. They had timely updates on what actions are being taken to rescue them. One of the users got the map of Taj hotel in Mumbai from web so that he knew where he is and what path he should take to get out.
On the flip side one of the politician who was caught inside the Taj Mahal Hotel, gave interview form his mobile phone to a news channel and talked about where he is hiding out with many other people. The news was published live on television channel and unfortunately the terrorists were also using technology to the maximum extent and came to know about the whereabouts of the hiding people. This mistake had cost many people their lives.

Prior to the terrorists in 26/11 attacks made calls from mobile number 09910719124 from a Nokia Phone. The Nokia phones were sourced from China to Pakistan and then to India. The number has been taken in Delhi in the name of Mr. Suresh Prasad. Even after so many details available. The police is not able to track down the person who has taken this mobile number. Today the telecom operators have to comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) norm where they are supposed to take the necessary documents form the user however the person who took the above mentioned mobile number furnished fake documents. So the mobile retailer can not do much about it.
However there are various cases where the mobile operators are not complying with the norm specified by TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) or DoT (Department of Telecom). Recently leading telecom operators were fined by DoT for not following KYC norms in the state of Jammu & Kashmir and Orissa.
So when are we going to get serious about these norms or when we will be able to bridge the loop holes in the process?
May be the new system being developed with the help of Mr.Nandan Nilekani which gives a unique number to each citizen of India will help. It will be similar to SSN (Social Security Number) in USA. Thus all the transactions made by person can be identified.
So let’s hope for a better tomorrow & better technology use.


By mbendre Posted in Uncategorized

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