On consecutive days in the last weekend of July , serial bomb blasts in Bangalore & Ahmedabad have already taken a toll of 50 innocent victims. The reaction from the government has been timely but banal. The President, PM & Home Minister etc have mouthed the stereotyped but ineffective platitudes about it being a cowardly act.As if such rebuke will force the criminals to sink into their shoes!
Every politician has asked the nation to be calm and not be provoked into creating communal disharmony when there has been no communal disharmony present at all. It is another matter that most of the communal riots are always initiated by politicians themselves rather than they being spontaneous!
Basically every citizen is scared and want this menace of faceless violence to stop once and for all. The question that is on every body's lips is what is the role of IB,SIB & CBI in gathering enough intelligence to prevent/anticipate acts? Do our intelligence professionals have network among the new age criminals? Or are they too busy serving their political masters in tapping the phone lines of their masters' political adversaries and other lesser mortals ?
The latest fad among the security professionals is to concentrate all their activities on the email-traces and mobile call records. While this is a good tool to catch the amateur criminals, its effect on seasoned criminals like the bomb blasters will have little effect.
Firstly, as far as email-trace back is concerned there are various software available on the Internet where one can protect one's anonymity while sending an email. In such a software, volunteers help to bounce a email through a relay of nodes from the origin to the destination. The volunteer is in the network to be anonymous in the first place. So the person who is traced back will in probability be a last node in the relay rather than the original sender. In effect, its very easy to hide your traces on the net while sending an email.
Secondly, email & call records are more of a reactive tool than proactive. Meaning they can help you in discovering communication traces rather than prevent such traces to occur in the first place.
Finally, there is no substitute for good old "physical" infiltration of the criminals network, their place of work, their friends , their places of worship etc. etc. That may be a hard way to work instead of spending nerdish hours in front of a hacker's computer. But its still effective provided the IB has a will as well as a plan to do so.
With Maoists fighting an armed guerrilla warfare in the rural red corridor of India and the faceless terrorists holding center stage in the metro cities; the government will do well to understand that intelligence should be proactive in anticipating such acts of violence.Merely reacting to such acts by arresting people on the basis of emails will be considered to be a eyewash to the citizens of India.