Smart phones are fast becoming means for terrorists to recruit people and communicate with each other, said National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon on Monday.
Addressing a seminar , he said the same technology has been used for mobilisation and social protests by groups, including Aam Aadmi Party in India and protesters during the ‘Arab Spring’.
“We see terrorist groups using the same technology (mobiles or smart phones) for recruitment, for communication and even though with much less success, so far, as a weapon,” Menon said.
He said the phone devices have also been used as an instrument to spread “lies and rumours” and even in India, people had to leave their homes in large numbers due to such activities, an apparent reference to exodus of people from North East India mainly from the South two years ago.
The NSA said cyber security is one of the biggest challenges and India has “some expertise and talent which suits our style of functioning.”
“Cyber security is now no longer just a question of securing our data on the internet or the security of our communications,” Menon said.
Commenting on global security scenario, Menon said “West Asia is in turmoil. According to IISS, in 2013 over 75,000 people died of armed conflict or terrorism in the “Greater Middle East including region from Morocco to Pakistan. This was 78 per cent of all conflict-related deaths in the world.”
He said Asia-Pacific is witnessing what may be history’s greatest peacetime arms buildup, in quality and quantity.
The NSA said these days, external instability translates directly into internal security challenges.
“There is no clear line between internal and external security any more. The tensions produced by youth unemployment in Spain or gentrification in Khirkee, are internal and external security issues at the same time,” he said.