After a war-like situation in India recently, the armed forces have declared a new policy for all the people working within the troops. It stated that for Armed Forces 89 apps, including WhatsApp and Facebook, should be removed by all the people from their cell phones. Cell phones are a reality of life, but when you have different apps on the cell, these can be easily hacked. Once these are hacked, it can lead to any avoidable situation. A Lt Colonel in the army went to the Supreme Court against the order. Supreme Court resolved the matter quickly. They told the officer, “If you like Facebook so much, why not resign from your job?”
I know it is a free world but does an army person not understand the matter of national security? What was he trying to achieve? He is a senior officer in the armed forces, does he not know that honey trapping is also part of warfare these days? For those who are not aware of honey trapping, here is how it works. You have an account on any of these apps. Somebody wants to get in touch with you. After a brief exchange of messages, that someone turns out to be a beautiful lady. One step leads to another, and more and more interactions take place. Sometimes the lure of sex is used or maybe money. In the secret liaison, the compromised photos are shared or exchanged. In the end, or is it the beginning you are “Trapped” in a compromising situation, it could be monetary or in an awkward physical stage, leading to threats of exposure. It is a trap led by the enemy, and I am sure that a small % of people must be walking into such situations. This could lead to information sharing or security breach.
It is an age-old trick where the security of your nation is breached. I am unsure if the Colonel is not intelligent enough to understand the meaning of the order. Or probably the way people get caught into the honey trap, their thinking goes haywire for that moment. I am not challenging the statement by that officer claiming that he would use the apps responsibly. But sometimes one may inadvertently publish something innocent- I am standing on the shores of the serene lake and so and so. It is merely letting your family see the beautiful landscape in the Himalayas. But if your account is hacked, the enemy would know that the officer is placed at a location. It will also indicate how many troops are there etc. Colonel saheb, let us not get into an unnecessary argument and get upset that the Supreme Court dismissed your case.
Given below are a few lines from the link above.
Days after an espionage racket was busted and 11 sailors were arrested for passing on sensitive information to a Pakistani handler, the Indian Navy has banned the use of Facebook by its personnel. Besides, the Navy has also barred usage of smartphones at naval bases, dockyards and on warships.
“The stringent step has been taken by the force soon after seven naval personnel were caught leaking sensitive information to enemy intelligence agencies over social media,” ANI quoted an official as saying.
The spy racket was busted on December 19 by the Andhra Pradesh Intelligence Department, which claimed that the sailors, recruited in 2017, allegedly passed information like locations of naval ships and submarines after they fell into a honey trap.
Similar arguments, like those of Colonel Saheb, are made by many people and organisations. National Rifle Association of America is one such organisation. The association under the garb of training people to use rifles, and holding competitions strongly supports the right to own and if required use guns for self-protection. The argument made sense during the wild-west days of America. In those days, people were moving from the east coast of the US to the west coast looking for land and what else, Gold. Those were the days of gold-digging. The West was really wild, and one was on his own. There was hardly any rule of law. Now the same USA is the second-largest democracy in the world, the wealthiest nation in the world. Now you need not go to wild-west. The west coast of the US is the most prosperous area in the US. You make money by being on Wall Street and by running Ponzi schemes. You make money by starting new technology startups, and venture capitalists give you money. You need a smart plan and a smooth tongue. It is okay if 98% of startups fail; failed companies on your resume are supposed to make you look smarter. In short, you do not need guns, but the rifle association begs (or brags is the right word?) to differ. Whenever there is a discussion about mass killings in the malls or the schools in America, the association’s argument is simple. People kill people, guns do not. It is the lax gun laws, it is the arms makers lobby that pushes such a stupid argument.
Another act that comes in a similar category is comments and actions about Coronavirus. I know of someone who is a smart guy living in the US currently- even today talks of it is just another flu and that people are unnecessarily scared about the pandemic. I do not see a difference in his thinking and that of Trump and his administration. The affected figure in the US is four million-plus and counting. Even today, in many areas in the US, wearing a mask is not mandatory. Trump started wearing a mask in public only a few days ago!
What happens to the so-called educated people? I am aware that there is a vast difference between those who take education and those who are educated. Being educated is a mindset. One may have studied up to high school but could be an educated person. It is what you absorb, that is important. The free knowledge and experience are available in this world, but you need to keep your eyes and ears open.
But most importantly, one should have an open mindset. There is no mathematical proof that wearing a mask helps in controlling the pandemic. But all the scientific communities are convinced that mask is the first line of defence. But since the topmost executive of the country is setting a wrong example, others follow suit. There was an incident in California. A customer was suggested by a restaurant owner to wear a mask even inside the restaurant. He pulled out a gun. Luckily, the owner was an ex-marine. He quickly disarmed the person. But what do you expect from the people who say that “Guns do not kill people, people kill people.”
After all, it is a free world!