March 14, 2009

INDIA: Internet Security / Intelligence gathering , P I L

The following PIL is worth mentioning here

1

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY

ORDINARY ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION

AND

EXTRAORDINARY JURISDICTION UNDER ARTICLE 226

OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

PUBLIC INTEREST PETITION NO. OF 2008


In the matter of Articles 21 and 355 of the Constitution of India;

And

In the matter of Article 226 of the Constitution of India;

And

In the matter of the terror attacks in the City of Mumbai on November 26 to 28, 2008 and other terror attacks and security threats faced by the City of Mumbai and other places in India from time to time;

And

In the matter of e-security measures to anticipate, prevent and mitigate the occurrence in future of such terror attacks and security threats in the City of Mumbai and other places in India.


1. Sarla S. Parekh ]

of Mumbai Indian Inhabitant ]

residing at 5th Floor ]

Bharatiya Bhavan ]

72, Marine Drive, Mumbai ]


2. Vijay Mukhi, ]

C/o. DSK Legal, 4th Floor, ]

Express Towers, Nariman Point, ]

Mumbai 400 021 ] …Petitioners


Versus


1. Union of India ]

through the Secretary, Ministry of ]

Home Affairs, North Block, ]

Jailsalmer House, Lok Nayak ]

Bhavan, New Delhi 110 011 ]

And through the Secretary, ]

Ministry of Defence, South Block, ]

New Delhi 110 011 ]


2. State of Maharashtra ]

through its Chief Secretary and ]

through its Home Secretary ]

Mantralaya, Mumbai 400 032 ] …Respondents


TO

THE HON’BLE CHIEF JUSTICE AND THE HON’BLE PUISNE JUDGES OF THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY


THE HUMBLE PETITION OF THE PETITIONERS ABOVENAMED



MOST RESPECTFULLY SHEWETH

1.

By the present Public Interest Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the Petitioners herein seek implementation of specific e-security measures which can be taken to anticipate, prevent and mitigate further terror attacks, like the recent attack on November 26-28, 2008, and organized crime in the City of Mumbai and other places in India under the directions of this Hon’ble Court.


2.

Petitioner No. 1 is the mother of the late Sunil Parekh, and mother-in-law of his wife the late Reshma Parekh, two of the unfortunate victims of the recent terrorist attack on November 26-28, 2008 in Mumbai (hereinafter referred to as “the said attack”). Petitioner No. 1 has personally suffered a tragedy on account of the said attack, losing her only son and daughter-in-law, who have left surviving them two young children. Petitioner No. 1 is filing the present petition as a concerned citizen of India and of Mumbai with the view and hope that, with the intervention of this Hon’ble Court, and the assistance of experts, improvements can be brought about in the manner in which such attacks are dealt with so as to ensure that there is a better capability in anticipating and preventing or mitigating such attacks.


3.

Petitioner No. 2 is an expert in the field of information technology. Petitioner No. 2 (i) is a co-founder of the Internet Users Community of India and the Bombay Technology Club; (ii) was appointed on the Bombay High Court Committee on issues regarding pornography; (iii) is a committee member / member of various industry associations including FICCI, IMC, AIAI, TIE, NACT; and (iv) is founder of the Foundation of Information Security & Technology (FIST). Petitioner No. 2 has written and published over 80 books on e-security and related subjects, which are published in English, Japanese and Portuguese languages. Petitioner No. 2 has been involved in training various people, in the use and application of software technology since the past 25 years.


4.

The Petitioners state that the City of Mumbai, and the entire nation, has, from time to time in the past few years, faced terrorist attacks and security threats and the most recent and glaring example of such an attack is the said attack on the City of Mumbai from November 26, 2008, which was not only extremely brutal in its nature but was also well planned and calculated to create maximum physical and psychological damage. The Petitioners are seriously concerned about the lack of safety and security of the citizens against such attacks by terrorist organizations, and organized crime, which operate at a very high level of efficiency and are very well trained in the use of technology for the purpose of carrying out such attacks. Such attacks have time and again caused severe loss to lives and damage to property and have disrupted normal activity, and wreaked havoc on the minds of Indians, many of whom are now feeling a sense of complete insecurity. Such terror attacks also affect the psychology of citizens and youth and children through the extensive media coverage.


5.

As per the information gathered by the Petitioners, since 2005, there has been a substantial increase in terror attacks in India resulting in vast numbers of casualties and injured persons and also causing colossal loss and damage otherwise. A datewise summary of some of the attacks which have been carried out by terrorist organisations in recent years in Mumbai is annexed hereto and marked Exhibit “A”. A datewise summary of some of the attacks which have been carried out terrorist organizations in other parts of India is annexed hereto and marked Exhibit “B”.


6.

The Petitioners submit that terrorist attacks are very well coordinated and terrorists are highly trained in the use of technology and are also dependant upon it for carrying out coordinated attacks and causing maximum damage. Any mechanism for capturing the perpetrators of such attacks before they can take place or for preventing recurrence of such attacks requires sophisticated technology and a very high level of coordination between the concerned authorities. The Petitioners state that the present security capabilities of the State machinery are inadequate to anticipate, prevent and mitigate such attacks and there is an urgent need to introduce fresh technology and upgrade the existing technology. The Petitioners state that, such measures, if not initiated forthwith and in a time bound manner, would leave the nation and its citizens at the mercy of terrorists and would undermine the faith of the people in the capabilities of the authorities and the law enforcement machinery to preserve and uphold the sovereignty of our nation and ensure the safety of its people.


7.

The Petitioners are therefore constrained to file the present petition in the larger public interest in order to place before this Hon’ble Court and the Respondents some of the measures which can be undertaken in order to anticipate, intercept and prevent or mitigate further terror attacks and to seek appropriate orders for implementing these measures in a timebound manner.


8.

The Petitioners state the series of terror attacks that have occurred in various parts of India in the past few years clearly show that much needs to be done by way of prevention and mitigation of such events. Concerned citizens with experience and expertise in relevant areas should come forward and offer to assist the Respondents in the larger interest of our country and all its citizens. Petitioner No. 2, being one such citizen, having vast knowledge and experience in the field of information technology, is by way of the present petition, offering his knowledge and recommendations on how such terror attacks can be prevent or mitigated by the use of software technologies initially in Mumbai which suffered the recent terrible terror attacks in which Petitioner No. 1 lost her son and daughter-in-law. These recommendations can be implemented through appropriate departments of Government, preferably under monitoring by this Hon’ble Court through a small specialist committee of representatives of Government, police and experts from industry. Specialist organizations like NASSCOM can be involved in the process of implementing the recommendations, initially, and then, on an on-going basis, if deemed necessary, by seeking the aid and advise of such organizations on latest technologies which can be used for the purpose of e-security and the manner in which such technologies can be set up and utilized.


9.

The Petitioners state that, faced with serious threats of terror attacks, many western countries have implemented various measures including application of upto date software technologies. An example of this is the United State of America (USA) which has effectively used technology to prevent further terror attacks after the terror attacks which took place on September 11, 2001 in USA. USA has set an example and high standards as to what can be done to prevent recurrence of such events that not only take innocent lives but adversely affect citizens and indeed the civilized world. By the use of technology, USA has managed to prevent further terror attacks on its soil till date. Much of the technology that USA and other countries use is available for purchase, and some of it is free. There is no current need to, nor benefit in, creating new software to address the existing circumstances except to the extent identified below. Actual steps that can be taken, and the broad costing involved, is given below. In certain cases local costs per city will have to be borne and hence, the Petitioner has, in the present petition, given, by way of illustration, the cost for the City of Mumbai in this regard. Without prejudice to the submission that costing cannot be a factor to avoid providing for human life and safety, the purpose of giving the costing herein is to pre-empt being faced with an answer that all the suggestions below are too expensive and that there isn’t a budget available. References herein to information about the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai are gained from the media, and are assumed to be correct.


10.

Following are some of the measures (along with estimated costs) which can be taken with the help of technology in order to anticipate and prevent or mitigate such attacks in Mumbai in the future:

1.

Internet and E-Mail surveillance


1.

All advanced nations capture and store all Internet, e-mail and other forms of e-traffic. The laws of every country in the world provide that all data flowing though an Internet Service Provider (ISP), an entity that offers Internet access, must be captured, and handed over to the Government. This is part of the service conditions of ISPs. Thus, the Government has access to all data passing in and out of the country.


2.

However, such e-surveillance involves not just the capturing of data, but analysing the large amounts of data that are generated. The amount of internet traffic that a city like Mumbai creates cannot be manually looked at by people. The monthly internet traffic of one user could exceed 3 Giga Bytes (1 Giga is 1,000,000,000 Bytes and 1 Byte is a single English letter of the alphabet) So, while it may be possible to capture all data, an automation of the process is then required for finding relevant information amongst the vast volumes that are captured.


3.

E-surveillance software is readily available. As this is required to process large volumes of data, the searches need to be extremely fast. The system involves searches not just of simple keywords but also of the context in which these are used. Thus, a search for “sense” should not find “sensex”. The search must be very intelligent or else the findings will again be too voluminous to be of any use. On the other hand, the system should not miss out on even one relevant piece of information. These are called false positives and false negatives.


4.

A large number of systems actually have a programming language associated with the search that allows the user to build very complex queries. These queries enable searches for words in e-mails only or web pages or chat or any other electronic data. The systems also have an entire workflow system built in so that a record can be maintained of the cases being worked upon. These cases can be linked with each other to find patterns. These patterns can help detect terror and crime plots, and once identified, it is relatively simple to track down those who have generated and are involved in this data traffic.


5.

Thus, the authorities can save all Internet traffic for months, and can conduct offline searches as required, in addition to online scans in real time of all traffic coming from a certain site, an Internet Protocol (IP) address (An IP address is akin to a phone number and every computer that wants to communicate with another computer on the Internet needs an IP address) or a certain e-mail address. Due to the falling cost of hardware and hard disks, it is inexpensive to store a country’s e-traffic for many years. Most security agencies in other countries store internet and telephone communication data for a long period of time – this is technically called data retention, or DR, in security parlance.


6.

A lot of traffic on the Internet is encrypted. Encryption means that the traffic is unreadable unless the reader has a password, or a “key”. A “key” is a password that cannot be remembered by the human mind. The authorities must be able to decrypt traffic as it flows either in real time or offline if the password used is complex, e.g. having 20 or more characters. Also, most of the time while sending or receiving large files, such large files are compressed and sent. This makes the file size smaller for easier transmission. Compression is very different from encryption as no password or key is involved.


7.

There are many different forms of traffic that move on the Internet. These include E-mail, Web Traffic, File Transfers, Chat, Picture Files, Sound Files, Video files, telephone calls etc. All this traffic effectively moves as single bytes of data. Thus all Internet traffic looks the same viz. single bytes of data. The surveillance system must be able to make sense of this traffic and display E-mail in an appropriate program like Outlook Express and web traffic as a web page. It must be able to distinguish Web based e-mail like Yahoo or Gmail from Outlook or SMTP based e-mail. Thus, it must recognize traffic flows and show them in a form that is understandable by a lay user. This intelligence can make or break the usability of the system. At times, data is hidden within other pieces of data – for example a technique called stegenography makes it possible to hide text within a picture or image and this image itself could be compressed and encrypted. To extract the hidden text the image file could have to be first decompressed, then decrypted and finally, once the image is visible, the hidden text would have to be extracted from within the image. The intelligence of a system can make it usable and such technical understanding and planning can make it actually useful.


8.

The system must have capabilities to allow people at multiple locations to work with each other with multiple data sources, without changing or losing any primary data. This is what the system must enable for better intelligence gathering.


9.

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) have made the world of intelligence gathering very different, and surveillance systems must interface with a GPS system for better clarity. There are multiple groups in the world that have digitized the world as maps. It makes for better understanding if one can see the place or location with Latitude and Longitude superimposed on a map where the data is coming from.


10.

The reporting capability of such systems must allow for very complex reports and they normally interface with an external report writer and save all the data in a database for easier access. Terrorists do not use pencil, pen and paper anymore to communicate. Terrorists use technology and hence the Government’s technology systems must be up to date and must be constantly updated. Earlier, intelligence agencies could read a letter without opening that letter. Now intelligence agencies must be able to read Internet traffic without arousing suspicions.


11.

A surveillance system needs many more features which would also allow it to interface with external systems to track and monitor telephone conversations. These two systems may be different, but the investigator is not interested in Internet traffic and phones as separate entities, he is interested in the suspect and does not want to work with two different systems. The surveillance systems must interact and interface with other systems as and when the time arises. Such interaction and integration would mean that the phone conversations, email & internet traffic would interface with other types of surveillance systems such as anti-money laundering systems used by banks and financial institutions. Surveillance should include effective monitoring of all possible activities of a suspect, rather than monitoring of just his communications.


Cost for Internet and E-Mail surveillance

While the price depends on the complexity of the systems, a sum of about Rs. 10 crores can procure a state of the art system. There would also be the cost of physical premises and training.


2.

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP)

A computer can be used as a phone. When we use Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP), our analog voice gets converted into digital bits and then sent across using the same Internet technology that is used to send an e-mail or a web page. Our telephonic conversations become internet traffic. Thus, it is easy to capture this traffic as it is an Internet stream of data. However, most VOIP or Internet Phones use encryption to send the data. It is therefore critical to have the ability to generate passwords in real time, or the police will have no idea what the conversation is. One of the most common Internet Phone implementations is Skype which offers its services these days not only on a PC, but also on a mobile phone. Many mobile phone models have fast Internet access, and thus a VOIP connection.


Cost for Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) surveillance

There are many VOIP providers in the world and hence it is necessary to identify which IP phone provider they are using and then start decrypting the conversation in real time. Some of these VOIP providers have no encryption. The Government can maintain a database of VOIP providers and the manner in which they encrypt the electronic traffic. The cost would be approximately Rs. 5 crores, including for Research and Development in this area.


3.

Mobile Phone Forensics


1.

The mobile phones of today are not as powerful as computers, but are getting very close. The Windows Mobile Platform from Microsoft can run most software that is written for the desktop. They share the same programming model. Many people, including terrorists and criminals, use mobile phones for communication, not just for voice communication, but also e-mail, sms and messaging. The law enforcement authorities require a laboratory to take apart a mobile phone and read its contents and piece together whatever a particular mobile phone was involved in and used for. There are different types of information available on a mobile phone.


2.

SIM cards have large memory capabilities, and hence it will be necessary to have programs that can read the contents of a SIM card which can contain enormous amounts of relevant data. The SIM card can be placed in a SIM card reader and analysed using the USB port of a computer, and then software would print out a report of the data contents of the SIM card. Thus, it would be necessary to have software that can read or download everything that is present in the memory of the phone which includes all logs, contacts, call details, SMS’s etc, etc. The software would have to take into account the differences between the different phone and SIM card manufacturers. The Windows Mobile Phones are very different to work with compared to Linux based mobile phones, which are different from the Symbian OS used by the high end phones, to the Palm OS, the newer IPhone. Also, every company has a large number of variations within its own product range. Also, CDMA phones work very differently from the GSM phones.


3.

Standard software lacks a very important capability. It basically allows one to see on a PC whatever one can see using one’s mobile phone. However, one big difference in Mobile phones and PC’s is the type of memory used. On switching off a PC, the contents of the RAM memory are erased, but not so in Mobile phones. They use more of a type of memory called “static memory” over dynamic memory. For example, an SMS that is deleted on the Mobile phone is normally marked for deletion, but is not really deleted. The memory that it uses will be reused only if another SMS needs the same memory. It is likely to remain in the memory for a long time. The same applies to any other information that is deleted from the Mobile phone, including log entries, missed calls, contacts, e-mails send, calendar entries, notes written, anything on the Mobile phone.


4.

The same general principles also apply for matter deleted from a computer hard drive. Particular software is required to read deleted matter. As a practical case, in the last bomb blasts in Mumbai, missed calls were used as a signaling device. If the person received one ring only, it was meant as a signal to chat on one chat site, whereas, two rings meant a signal to chat on another chat site and so on. The phone company does not store missed calls as they do not generate any revenue for the company. Since received missed calls are stored on the phone and can provide valuable evidence, it is necessary to have a method of recovering all the missed calls received on a phone, even if deleted by the user.


5.

At times special software is written that would read the actual memory of the phone and obtain deleted or other information that is needed. This is a big cottage industry in the Windows world as Microsoft has not documented a lot of things it does including how it stores certain information on both hard disk as well as memory. This is called “Undocumented Windows”. There is much more undocumented data in mobile phones and these raw memory structures need to be read and deciphered. This requires both special hardware that would allow reading memory directly, as well as programmers who can write software and who can read and make sense out of this mass of data.


6.

SIM cards allow the user to write very useful programs embedded within them. The Government can make it mandatory that every SIM card sold in India must have a program on it that monitors what people do with their phones and can send back this information to the home station. This can stop misuse of mobile phones in a big way by terrorists. SIM cards currently used in India have at least 32KB of storage space and such programs will easily fit into the SIM cards. Initiatives can also be taken to mandate hand-set manufacturers to have similar programs running on phones sold in India.


Cost for Mobile Phone Forensics


1.

Software - Companies like Paraben Software, MobilEdit, Oxygen, etc offer a full featured suite of such software, which costs about Rs 50,000 each. It would be advisable to buy at least three of these softwares so that the authorities can cover as many mobile phones manufacturers and brands as possible. It is sensible to run multiple brands of software to check that the results are consistent. This would cost about Rs. 1.5 lakhs.


2.

People for upgradation - A lot of software is also open source (free) and would need a person who would make sure that the laboratory is kept up to date with the latest software.


3.

Hardware - About 10 laptop computers would be adequate for the laboratory, plus cabling, different types of mobile phones to be checked for experimentation and learning, special equipment like Faraday cages for shielding the phones and other specialized equipment. This would cost approximately Rs. 25 lakhs.


It would be necessary to have custom software written. A budget of about Rs. 48 lakhs every year for four programmers for software to be written would suffice, at current market rates.


The total cost would be about Rs. 1 crore for a state of the art mobile forensic lab.


4.

Mobile Phone Interception


1.

Terrorists use mobile phones to communicate with their base stations where their “handlers” are situated. Law enforcement agencies can inform mobile phone companies that they want to listen into certain calls and, after necessary approvals, this is done by the operator.


2.

Vans with special equipment are needed since the police would have no knowledge of the phone numbers that the terrorists would use, and hence cannot inform the service providers. Also the terrorists could take phones of hostages and use these. The only way to intercept these calls is a system by means by which the police can scan all mobile phone conversations within a certain area, and record the conversation as well as disclose which part of the world the person is in with whom the conversation is taking place. These systems must be familiar with GSM, CDMA and 3G. A further issue that would be faced is if these conversations are encrypted, then decrypting them in real time would add to the complexity and costs. The Government can require that all mobile phones and providers should not be allowed to encrypt conversations within India’s geographical boundaries. This could mean that companies like Blackberry may have some issues in operating in India as e-mails sent via Blackberry are encrypted, and hence interception is a problem.


Cost for Mobile Phone Interception in Mumbai

Two vans with equipment that can intercept mobile phone conversation in real time would cost about Rs. 1.5 crores.


5.

Satellite Phone Interception


Satellite phones can be tapped and are being tapped. Their range also covers a wide area and such equipment is already available in India.


Cost for Satellite Phone Interception in Mumbai

Even though India must have equipment to intercept satellite phones, it is better to have all equipment under local control and not under the control of some other agencies since, in a terror situation, all equipment must be under the control of one agency. The cost is about Rs. 8 crores.


6.

Mobile Phone jamming


In the recent terrorist attack in Mumbai the terrorists were able to communicate at will for 60 hours since the police had no way to intercept the mobile phones or VOIP conversations. It would have been more prudent to jam the mobile phones of the terrorists so that they could not work at all. The flip side of doing so is that no one in the area including the hostages would be able to communicate at all with their families but the process for ending the terrorist attacks could have been shortened if jamming was implemented. The police have mobile phone jammers that will guarantee that no mobile work works in an area of size that they choose.


Cost for Mobile Phone jamming equipment in Mumbai

Approximately Rs. 2 crores for portable mobile phone jammers for Mumbai.


7.

Writing Keystroke Loggers and Stealth Software and hacking into computers


1.

Several countries have ceased to be passive and defensive about terrorists and organized crime and have taken the war to the other side by “infiltrating”. The first part of infiltration is intelligence gathering i.e. finding out what the criminal is doing. The second part is to actually access the criminal’s data by hacking or breaking into his computer and networks. The standard tool for intelligence gathering is a Keystroke Logger. This monitors every keystroke he types. This tool also monitors on screen keyboards used by clicking on the mouse, by capturing mouse clicks. This is how the activities on the terrorist’s computers can be monitored – Emails, web sites visited, chats and VOIP calls made, including saving a recording of his voice. Thus, the terrorist’s computer is actually controlled by the police, and he has no idea of this. One more reason a keystroke logger is very important is because of encryption. Emails which are encrypted may not be easily decrypted. If keystrokes are monitored, then interception happens before encryption.


2.

The keystroke logger also allows complete remote control of the other person’s computer. Scanning of his hard disk and accessing important files and monitor everything that the computer does is possible, thus potentially preventing such crimes and attacks.


3.

There are tools like Metasploit Framework which are free and open source and allow the user to hack into or take over or break into other computers without the other computers knowledge or approval. There is a concept of a “zero day exploit” which means that one can take over a computer and there is no vaccine or deterrent that is available to stop this. There are many zero day exploits and the time window to use them is small. Once Microsoft and other software vendors know about a zero day exploit against them, they quickly create a “vaccine” or “deterrent”.


4.

Metasploit Framework is the most common tool used by hackers and its original purpose was to find out how vulnerable a company’s network is. It is written in a programming language called “Ruby” and has many ways of taking over a computer and getting it to do one’s bidding. The Government would need hackers to learn Ruby and create zero day exploits. Once the software is installed the police would need to ensure that it is not detected by antivirus or anti spyware or any other software that checks for alien software on a machine.


5.

Advanced programmers or hackers or “gifted programmers” need to be employed by the Government. It is commonplace in the technology industry to write such software, but nobody mentions it. Many countries have fully fledged laboratories that do this.


Costs for writing Keystroke Loggers and Stealth Software, and employing experts for hacking into computers

At current levels, each of these hackers would charge about Rs. 2 lakhs per month. A core group of 10 hackers would add up to Rs. 2.4 crores. Educating them and providing state of the art machines to work with would take the total cost for the first year to about Rs. 3.5 crores.


8.

Creating a virtual cyber police


Conventional Intelligence gathering has changed since the written word is no longer written down on files but is present on a computer. All conversations now use technology. Terrorists are often amongst the first to adapt to a new technology. It is important for police officers to stay live online. The hackers can actually roam around the internet making friends with diverse people, looking for relevant information. Hackers would be the eyes and ears for the police in the virtual word and would keep checking for suspicious activity and signs when chatter increases on the Internet which could mean a terrorist attack somewhere. Hackers could also check for links to terror sites and then join them for surveillance. Hackers remain active on e-mail groups checking for suspicious activity. A group of hackers must be created to fulfill this function, who can roam around the Internet, most of them apparently aimlessly, and check for suspicious activity. This is a long drawn strategy.


Cost of virtual cyber police

At current levels, each of these hackers would charge about Rs. 75,000 per month. A core group of 10 hackers, with education and providing state of the art machines to work with would take the total cost for the first year to about Rs. 1 crore.


9.

Computer Forensics Laboratory


1.

Terrorists now often carry laptop computers with them with a lot of relevant information. This information can be used as evidence in court when the police seize these laptops. Thus, before analyzing the seized computers for evidence, the police must make a forensic copy of the hard disk. Otherwise, the terrorist could accuse the police of planting the evidence.


2.

There are international best practices in place which clearly lay down how digital evidence must be seized and presented in court. A forensic back up of the evidence is to be made using a physical copying device. Then work can be carried out on the copy of the hard disk only, not on the original. Scanning the computers hard disk to make sure that all the evidence is found involves various steps. Some of them are documented, but lots of them are not documented. The police need tools that would automate this process and search in all the places that evidence can be hidden. There is an entire body of knowledge devoted to just hiding things on a hard disk when even the seasoned investigators may not be able to find it. These tools must be continuously upgraded, as new hiding places are being found all the time. These places include slack space on the hard disk, creating partitions within partitions, within a normal file or picture, in memory structures, etc. At times a hard disk is found partially destroyed and needs to be read vide the platters of the hard disk. At times even though files have been deleted multiple number times yet it is possible to read the file contents using advanced techniques.


Cost of a Computer Forensics Laboratory

The cost of a good laboratory, with hardware, software and trained people would be about Rs. 3 crores in the first year.


10.

Breaking Encryption and creating one’s own Algorithms


1.

The Government needs to hire experts to create unbreakable encryption and break encryption created by others. If people communicate by encrypting the communication channels, there is no way of knowing what they are planning. The Government needs to create a cadre of mathematicians who can break these codes. India has them in good numbers but they not been given the respect and money they need.


2.

There are lots of free tools available to identify all sorts of passwords in various products. Nearly every product that offers password access including Windows, Oracle, Word, Excel etc have tools that allow breaking of passwords. These tools range from using rainbow tables, which are a DVD of all known passwords, to actually exploiting the vulnerabilities in the encryption used.


Costs for Breaking Encryption and creating one’s own Algorithms

This would cost an estimated Rs. 2 crores per year. This is both a research and practical activity.


11.

Installing CCTV’s in public places


1.

Cameras in public places with appropriate software can act both as a deterrent, as criminals and terrorists do not want their images to be available to law enforcers, and as a tracking device to follow criminals and terrorists from the scene of the crime.


2.

Thousands of cameras sending live feeds need software that can scan these feeds and report anomalies. This software recognizes entities and also learns from patterns what is being looking for. It should be able to recognize a gun when it sees one and then send out an alert. This software uses a technology called AI or Artificial Intelligence. Every major city in the world has been covered with cameras, and at the same time also uses satellites to cover the entire city as backup. The camera feeds must also be stored for some time and this would also reduce, and help detect, crime on the streets.


Costs for installing CCTV’s in public places

The cost of a camera would range from Rs. 10,000/- to Rs. 12 lakhs. Small by lanes would require a web camera at times which costs approximately Rs 1,000/- and at very important places a camera worth Rs. 1,00,000/-. Total cost would be about Rs. 13 crores to start with.


12.

Future Threats and Technologies - a think tank as future technologies emerge


A factor of technology is that vectors keep changing all the time. Thus it is very important that updation for the police forces happens all the time, with the assistance of experts.

11.

The Petitioners submit that the following are some of the measures which can be taken to prevent and mitigate future terror attacks in Mumbai:


1.

The Respondents can be directed to:

i. Identify suitable vendors, agencies and personnel for procuring the hardware, software, equipment and persons required for implementing the recommendations/initiatives mentioned in paragraph 10 hereinabove, and procure such hardware, software, equipment and persons in a timebound manner;

ii. Identify and acquire a suitable location where the said hardware, software, equipment and persons can be housed and made operational;

iii. Implement the recommendations/initiative mentioned in paragraph 10 hereinabove in a time bound manner, and oversee and monitor the operation and implementation of the recommendations/ initiatives including imparting training to persons employed for the purpose of implementing the recommendations/initiatives mentioned in paragraph 10 hereinabove;

iv. To take further and other necessary steps and do all things necessary to implement prayers i to iii above.


2.

In the alternative to the above, following directions can be given:

i. Appointing a committee of experts to implement the recommendations/ initiatives mentioned in paragraph 10 hereinabove in Mumbai;

ii. Directing the Respondents to grant necessary authority and powers to the said committee of experts to:


3.

Identify suitable vendors, agencies and personnel for procuring the hardware, software, equipment and persons required for implementing the recommendations/initiatives mentioned in paragraph 10 hereinabove, and procure such hardware, software, equipment and persons in a timebound manner;


4.

Identify and acquire a suitable location where the said hardware, software, equipment and persons can be housed and made operational;


5.

Implement the recommendations/initiative mentioned in paragraph 10 hereinabove in a time bound manner, and oversee and monitor the operation and implementation of the recommendations/ initiatives including imparting training to persons employed for the purpose of implementing the recommendations/initiatives mentioned in paragraph 10 hereinabove;

iii. Directing the Respondents to take further and other necessary steps and do all things necessary to implement prayers (a) to (c) above.


(c) Directions can be given to the Respondents to implement the recommendations/initiatives mentioned in paragraph 10 hereinabove, on an on-going basis, and, from time to time, maintain and upgrade, on an on going basis, suitable hardware, software, equipments, for this purpose.


The Petitioners respectfully submit that it is just, necessary and in the interest of justice that the aforesaid e-security measures be implemented in a time bound manner and that suitable directions be given by this Hon’ble Court to this effect which are utmost essential necessary to protect the lives and properties of the citizens pursuant to the guarantee contained in Articles 21 and 355 of the Constitution of India.

12.

The Petitioners respectfully submit that, thus, at a total cost of approximately Rs. 50 crores, Mumbai city could set up state of the art e-security software, equipment and personnel. Out of this some expense would be an annual expense and some would be useful beyond Mumbai, in other parts of India as well.


13.

The Petitioners submit that the implementation of the above steps can be very useful, and, if updated by the Respondents, can stay relevant for the entire nation. It is clear that the Respondents lack the technology necessary to intercept terrorist activity which may lead to vital information with regard to possible terror attacks and to prevent or mitigate such attacks in the country. The Respondents need the technology to enable the Respondents to effectively perform their duty to protect this country and its citizens against external aggression and internal disturbance. The Petitioners therefore submit that the aforesaid measures are required to be implemented by giving suitable directions to the Respondents.


14.

The Petitioners submit that, on account of the inability of the Respondents to prevent or mitigate such terror attacks, there is a violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India since the people of India are deprived of their life or liberty on account of such attacks.


15.

The Petitioners submit that no loss or prejudice will be caused to the Respondents if the reliefs prayed for in the present petition are granted and, in fact, grave loss and injury is being cause to the nation and its people on account of the lack of proper infrastructure and technology and hence if the reliefs as prayed for are refused, grave and irreparable loss will continue to be caused to the citizens of India including the people of Mumbai.


16.

The Petitioners therefore submit that it is necessary and in the interest of justice and in the public interest that the relief prayed for in the present petition be granted.

17.

The Petitioners crave leave to add to, alter, amend and/or delete any facts, grounds or reliefs herein.


18.

Respondent No. 1 is the Union of India and Respondent No. 2 is the State of Maharashtra. The recent terror attacks took place in Mumbai from November 26 to 28, 2008. There is a serious threat and fear in the minds of the people of the City of Mumbai with regard to the possibility of future attacks in Mumbai. The Respondents are required to carry out their duties to protect the City of Mumbai. The entire cause of action has arisen in Mumbai and this Hon’ble Court has jurisdiction to entertain, try and dispose of this petition.


19.

The Petitioners have no other efficacious alternative remedy available to them under law and the reliefs sought herein, if granted, would be full and complete.


20.

The Petitioners have not filed any other petition either in this Court or in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in respect of the subject matter of this petition.


21.

In the aforesaid premises, the Petitioner prays as under:


1.

This Hon’ble Court be pleased to issue a writ of or in the nature of mandamus or any other writ, order or direction directing the Respondents to:

i. Identify suitable vendors, agencies and personnel for procuring the hardware, software, equipment and persons required for implementing the recommendations/initiatives mentioned in paragraph 10 hereinabove, and procure such hardware, software, equipment and persons in a timebound manner;

ii. Identify and acquire a suitable location where the said hardware, software, equipment and persons can be housed and made operational;

iii. Implement the recommendations/initiative mentioned in paragraph 10 hereinabove in a time bound manner, and oversee and monitor the operation and implementation of the recommendations/ initiatives including imparting training to persons employed for the purpose of implementing the recommendations/initiatives mentioned in paragraph 10 hereinabove;

iv. To take further and other necessary steps and do all things necessary to implement prayers i to iii above.

2.

B. In the alternative to prayer A hereinabove, this Hon’ble Court be pleased to issue a writ of or in the nature of mandamus or any other writ, order or direction:

i. Appointing a committee of experts to implement the recommendations/ initiatives mentioned in paragraph 10 hereinabove in Mumbai;

ii. Directing the Respondents to grant necessary authority and powers to the said committee of experts to:

1.

Identify suitable vendors, agencies and personnel for procuring the hardware, software, equipment and persons required for implementing the recommendations/initiatives mentioned in paragraph 10 hereinabove, and procure such hardware, software, equipment and persons in a timebound manner;
2.

Identify and acquire a suitable location where the said hardware, software, equipment and persons can be housed and made operational;
3.

Implement the recommendations/initiative mentioned in paragraph 10 hereinabove in a time bound manner, and oversee and monitor the operation and implementation of the recommendations/ initiatives including imparting training to persons employed for the purpose of implementing the recommendations/initiatives mentioned in paragraph 10 hereinabove;

iii. Directing the Respondents to take further and other necessary steps and do all things necessary to implement prayers (a) to (c) above.


3.

This Hon’ble Court be pleased to issue a writ of or in the nature of mandamus or any other writ, order or direction directing the Respondents to implement the recommendations/initiatives mentioned in paragraph 10 hereinabove, on an on-going basis, and, from time to time, maintain and upgrade, on an on going basis, suitable hardware, software, equipments, for this purpose.


4.

For interim and ad interim reliefs in terms of prayer A or prayer B hereinabove.


5.

For such other and further reliefs as this Hon’ble Court may deem fit;


AND FOR THIS ACT OF KINDNESS THE PETITIONERS SHALL AS IN DUTY BOUND FOREVER PRAY.


SARLA S. PAREKH




VIJAY MUKHI

[Petitioners]


Messrs DSK Legal

Advocates for the Petitioners


VERIFICATION


I, Vijay Mukhi, of Mumbai, Indian inhabitant, Petitioner No. 2 herein, having my office at C/o. DSK Legal, 4th Floor, Express Towers, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021, do hereby solemnly declare that what is stated in the aforesaid paragraphs is stated on knowledge, information and belief and I believe the same to be true.


Solemnly declared at Mumbai )

this ___ day of December 2008 )


Before me

Messrs DSK Legal

Advocates for the Petitioners

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY

ORDINARY ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION

AND

EXTRAORDINARY JURISDICTION UNDER ARTICLE 226

OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

PUBLIC INTEREST PETITION NO. OF 2008


In the matter of Articles 21 and 355 of the Constitution of India;

And

In the matter of Article 226 of the Constitution of India;

And

In the matter of the terror attacks in the City of Mumbai on November 26, 2008 and other terror attacks and security threats faced by the City of Mumbai and other places in India from time to time;

And

In the matter of e-security measures to envisage, prevent and mitigate the occurrence in future of such terror attacks and security threats in the City of Mumbai and other places in India


1. Sarla S. Parekh ]

of Mumbai Indian Inhabitant ]

residing at 5th Floor ]

Bharatiya Bhavan ]

72, Marine Drive, Mumbai ]


2. Vijay Mukhi, ]

C/o. DSK Legal, 4th Floor, ]

Express Towers, Nariman Point, ]

Mumbai 400 021 ] …Petitioners


Versus


1. Union of India ]

through the Secretary, Ministry of ]

Home Affairs, North Block, ]

Jailsalmer House, Lok Nayak ]

Bhavan, New Delhi 110 011 ]

And through the Secretary, ]

Ministry of Defence, South Block, ]

New Delhi 110 011 ]


2. State of Maharashtra ]

through its Chief Secretary and ]

through its Home Secretary ]

Mantralaya, Mumbai 400 032 ] …Respondents


To


The Prothonotary & Senior Master

High Court

Bombay



Madam,



We, Sarla S. Parekh and Vijay Mukhi, Petitioner Nos. 1 and 2 abovenamed, do hereby appoint Messrs DSK Legal, Advocates and Solicitors, to act, appear and plead for us and on our behalf in the above matter.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF we have set and subscribed our hand to this writing on this _____ day of December 2008.






SARLA S. PAREKH

PETITIONER NO. 1






VIJAY MUKHI

PETITIONER NO. 2



Accepted:

Messrs DSK Legal





Partner

Advocates for the Petitioners

4th Floor, Express Towers

Nariman Point

Mumbai 400 021


Regn. No. 6989



IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY

ORDINARY ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION

AND

EXTRAORDINARY JURISDICTION UNDER ARTICLE 226

OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

PUBLIC INTEREST PETITION NO. OF 2008



Sarla S. Parekh and Anr. … Petitioners


Versus


Union of India and Anr. … Respondents




MEMORANDUM OF REGISTERED ADDRESS



The address of Sarla S. Parekh and Vijay Mukhi, the Petitioners herein, for the purpose of service of proceedings in the above Petition is that of its Advocates:



Messrs DSK Legal

Advocates & Solicitors

4th Floor, Express Towers

Nariman Point

Mumbai 400 021







Messrs DSK Legal

Advocates for the Petitioners



IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY

ORDINARY ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION

AND

EXTRAORDINARY JURISDICTION UNDER ARTICLE 226

OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

PUBLIC INTEREST PETITION NO. OF 2008



Sarla S. Parekh and Anr. … Petitioners


Versus


Union of India and Anr. … Respondents



LIST OF DOCUMENTS ON WHICH THE PETITIONERS WHICH RELY



1.

A date wise summary of some of the attacks carried out by terrorist organisations in recent years in Mumbai.


2.

A date wise summary of some of the attacks which have been carried out by terrorist organizations in other parts of India.


3.

Any other document, if any, shall be relied upon with the permission of this Hon’ble Court.



Messrs DSK Legal

Advocates for the Petitioners


EXHIBIT “A”


DATE WISE SUMMARY OF SOME OF THE ATTACKS

CARRIED OUT IN RECENT YEARS IN MUMBAI


1.

March 12, 1993 – A series of 13 bomb blasts killing about 260 persons and injuring 713 perons.
2.

1997-1998 – 3 separate incidents of bomblasts in which 9 people die and 4 are injured.
3.

December 2, 2002 – A powerful explosion in a bus outside the crowded Ghatkopar railway station and another in Mumbai Central station killing 2 persons killed and injured about 56 persons.
4.

December 6, 2002 – 2 people killed and about 25 people injured in a bomb blast at McDonalds fast food restaurant at Mumbai Central station.
5.

January 27, 2003 - At least 30 people injured when a bomb planted on a bicycle went off throwing splinters of sharp nails outside Vile Parle railway station.
6.

March 13, 2003 – A powerful bomb blast shattered a bogie of a local train at Mulund station killing 11 people and injuring more than 65.
7.

July 28, 2003 – Bomb planted in a bus explodes killing 3 and injuring about 31 persons.
8.

Aug 25, 2003 – Two bombings at the Gateway of India and the Mumba Devi temple killed about 52 persons and injured 167 persons
9.

July 11, 2006 – Seven explosions ripped through crowded commuter trains and stations in Mumbai, killing at least 180 people and leaving about 890 people injured.
10.

September 8, 2006 – Series of explosions in Malegaon killing atleast 32 people.
11.

November 26-28, 2008: Synchronised attacks in two hotels, the CST station and Nariman House at Colaba. About 200 persons killed and over 330 persons injured.

EXHIBIT “B”


DATE WISE SUMMARY OF SOME OF THE ATTACKS

CARRIED OUT IN OTHER PARTS OF INDIA



1.

February 14, 1998 - 13 blasts ripped through Coimbatore killing about 46 persons and injuring more than 200 persons.


2.

December 24-31, 1999 – Militants hijacked an Indian Airlines flight from Kathmandu to New Delhi with 189 people aboard, kill 1 passenger and force the release of 3 jailed militants in exchange.


3.

December 22, 2000 - Militants attacked the Red Fort in Delhi leaving 2 Army personnel and 1 civilian dead.


4.

October 1, 2001 - Militants attacked Jammu-Kashmir assembly complex, killing about 21 persons.


5.

December 13, 2001 – Terrorists attack the Indian parliament, killing 12 people including 6 policemen. An unprecedented attack on the seat of power in the world's biggest democracy.


6.

January 22, 2002 - 4 people were killed in an attack on the American Center, Kolkata by militants.


7.

March 30, 2002 – 7 persons were killed in an attack by militants on the Raghunath Temple in Jammu.


8.

May 14, 2002 - More than 30 Army men killed in a terrorist attack on an Army camp near Jammu.


9.

September 24, 2002 – Terrorist attack on the Akshardham temple near Gandhinagar killing about 31 persons.


10.

May 14, 2003 – Militants attacked an army camp near Jammu killing more than 30 persons.


11.

July 5, 2005 – Terrorist attack in Ayodhya killing 1 person.


12.

October 29, 2005 – Three blasts in New Delhi killed about 65 people and wounded about 210 more.


13.

March 7, 2006 - Triple bombings in Varanasi killed about 23 people and injured about 68 others.


14.

June 1, 2006 - Three heavily armed terrorists were killed in an encounter with the police when they tried to drive through the security cordon guarding the RSS headquarters in Nagpur


15.

July 11, 2006 – Five hand grenade attacks in Srinagar where at least 8 people, including tourists and pilgrims, killed.


16.

May 21, 2006 – Militants’ attack at political rally at Srinagar killing 7 people.


17.

May 25, 2006 – Powerful explosion at Batpora on killing 4 tourists.


18.

February 19, 2007 – About 66 people killed after two firebombs went off on the Samjhauta Express.


19.

August 25, 2007 - About 42 people killed in two blasts, at a popular eatery and a public park.


20.

November 23, 2007 – Serial blasts in Lucknow, Faizabad and Varanasi killing about 4 persons.


21.

May 13, 2008 – Nine serial blasts at Jaipur killing about 68 people.


22.

June 1, 2008 – Low intensity blast at Honey Park in Surat.


23.

July 25, 2008 – Eight blasts in Bangalore where at least 2 persons killed and about 20 injured.


24.

July 26, 2008 – About 20 synchronised bombs went off within 2 hours in Ahmedabad killing about 54 people and injuring nearly 200.


25.

July 27, 2008 – Explosion in Surat. In the next few days, around 28 bombs including 2 car bombs were found in Surat, which possibly did not explode due to faulty mechanism.


26.

September 13, 2008 – About 26 people killed and about 110 people injured in six blasts across New Delhi.


27.

September 27, 2008 – 3 people killed after a crude bomb was thrown in a busy market in Mehrauli.


28.

September 29, 2008 – 1 person killed and several injured after a low-intensity bomb kept on a motorcycle went off in Modasa, Gujarat.


29.

October 14, 2008 – A bomb planted on a rented bicycle went off in Kanpur injuring 8 persons.


30.

October 21, 2008 – A powerful blast took place near the Manipur Police Commando complex in Imphal killing 17 persons.


31.

October 30, 2008 – At least 45 persons killed and over 100 persons injured in 18 terror bombings across Assam.



IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY

ORDINARY ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION

AND

EXTRAORDINARY JURISDICTION UNDER ARTICLE 226

OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

PUBLIC INTEREST PETITION NO. OF 2008


Sarla S. Parekh and Anr. … Petitioners


Versus


Union of India and Anr. … Respondents



I, Vijay Mukhi, Indian inhabitant, Petitioner No. 2 herein, having my office at C/o. DSK Legal, 4th Floor, Express Towers, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021, do hereby solemnly affirm and state on oath as under:


1.

I say that I am Petitioner No. 2 herein and am as such conversant with the facts of the case and have verified the petition. For the sake of brevity, I repeat, confirm and reiterate all that is stated in the petition as if the same were set out herein extensor.


2.

As more particularly set out in the petition, the Petitioners have filed the above petition for reliefs as more particularly described therein.


3.

In the facts and circumstances more particularly set out in the petition, it is absolutely just, convenient and expedient that the reliefs prayed for therein be granted in favour of the Petitioners.


4.

In the circumstances, the Petitioner No. 2 prays that the petition be allowed and the reliefs prayed for be granted.


Solemnly affirmed at Mumbai )

this ____ day of December 2008 )

Before me,



Messrs DSK Legal

Advocates for the Petitioners


IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY

ORDINARY ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION

AND

EXTRAORDINARY JURISDICTION UNDER ARTICLE 226

OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

PUBLIC INTEREST PETITION NO. OF 2008


Sarla S. Parekh and Anr. … Petitioners


Versus


Union of India and Anr. … Respondents



INDEX


Sr. No.


Particulars


Page Nos.




PROFORMA


I - III

1.


Synopsis



2.


Petition dated December 12, 2008



3.


Vakalatnama dated December 12, 2008



5.


Memorandum of Registered Address



5.


List of documents



6.


Exhibit “A”

A date wise summary of some of the attacks carried out in recent years in Mumbai.



7.


Exhibit “B”

A date wise summary of some of the attacks carried out in other parts of India.



8.


Affidavit of Mr. Vijay Mukhi in support of Petition



9.


Petitioners’ Advocates’ Certificate as per Rule 636 (1)(b) of the Bombay High Court (Original Side) Rules, 1980





IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY

ORDINARY ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION

AND

EXTRAORDINARY JURISDICTION UNDER ARTICLE 226

OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

PUBLIC INTEREST PETITION NO. OF 2008



Sarla S. Parekh and Anr. … Petitioners


Versus


Union of India and Anr. … Respondents


SYNOPSIS


Sr. No.


Date


Events

1.



March 12, 1993


A series of 13 bomb blasts in Mumbai killed about 260 persons and injured 713 perons.

2.



1997-1998


3 separate incidents of bomblasts took place in Mumbai in which 9 people died and 4 people were injured.

3.



December 2, 2002


A powerful explosion took place in a bus outside the crowded Ghatkopar railway station and another in Mumbai Central station in Mumbai killing 2 persons and injuring about 56 persons.

4.



December 6, 2002


2 people were killed and about 25 people were injured in a bomb blast at McDonalds fast food restaurant at Mumbai Central station in Mumbai.

5.



January 27, 2003


At least 30 people were injured when a bomb planted on a bicycle went off throwing splinters of sharp nails outside Vile Parle railway station in Mumbai.

6.



March 13, 2003


A powerful bomb blast shattered a bogie of a local train at Mulund station killing 11 people and injuring more than 65 people in Mumbai.

7.



July 28, 2003


Bomb planted in a bus exploded in Mumbai killing 3 and injuring about 31 persons.

8.



Aug 25, 2003


Two bombings at the Gateway of India and the Mumba Devi temple in Mumbai killed about 52 persons and injured 167 persons

9.



July 11, 2006


Seven explosions ripped through crowded commuter trains and stations in Mumbai, killing at least 180 people and leaving about 890 people injured.

10.



September 8, 2006


Series of explosions took place in Malegaon killing atleast 32 people.

11.



November 26-28, 2008


Synchronised attacks were carried out in two hotels, the CST station and Nariman House at Colaba in Mumbai. About 200 persons were killed and over 330 persons were injured.

12.






The City of Mumbai, and the entire nation, has, from time to time in the past few years, faced terror attacks and security threats and the most recent and glaring example of such an attack is the said attack on the City of Mumbai from November 26, 2008, which was not only extremely brutal in its nature but was also well planned and calculated to create maximum physical and psychological damage. Terrorist organizations, and organized crime, which carry out such attacks, operate at a very high level of efficiency and are very well trained in the use of technology for the purpose of carrying out such attacks. Such attacks have time and again caused severe loss to lives and damage to property and have disrupted all activity and wreaked havoc on the minds of Indians, who are now feeling a sense of complete insecurity. Such terror attacks also affect the psychology of citizens and youth and children through the extensive media coverage.

13.






Terrorist attacks are very well coordinated and terrorists are highly trained in the use of technology and are also dependant upon it for carrying out coordinated attacks and causing maximum damage. Any mechanism for capturing the perpetrators of such attacks before they can take place or for preventing recurrence of such attacks requires sophisticated technology and a very high level of coordination between the authorities. The present security capabilities of the State machinery are inadequate to anticipate, prevent and mitigate such attacks and there is an urgent need to introduce fresh technology and upgrade the existing technology. Such measures, if not initiated forthwith and in a time bound manner, would leave the nation and its citizens at the mercy of terrorists and would undermine the faith of the people in the capabilities of the authorities and the law enforcement machinery to preserve and uphold the sovereignty of our nation and ensure the safety of its people.

14.






It is therefore imperative that suitable software technologies be set up by the authorities so as to enable them to intercept activities of terrorist organizations, anticipate terror attacks in the future and take appropriate steps to capture the perpetrators of such acts and to prevent or mitigate such attacks in the future.



POINTS TO BE URGED:

1. It is imperative that suitable software technologies be set up by the authorities so as to enable them to intercept activities of terrorist organizations, anticipate terror attacks in the future and take appropriate steps to capture the perpetrators of such acts and to prevent or mitigate terror attacks in the future. The Petitioners seek directions of this Hon’ble Court to the Respondents to set up and updating software technologies which can be used in intercepting, anticipate and prevent terror attacks.

2. As more particularly mentioned in the petition.


ACTS TO BE RELIED UPON:

1.

The Constitution of India.
2.

Any other Act, Rule or Regulation.


AUTHORITIES TO BE CITED

As may be required at the time of arguments.




Messrs DSK Legal

Advocates for the Petitioners


IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY


ORDINARY ORIGINAL CIVIL JURISDICTION


AND


EXTRAORDINARY JURISDICTION UNDER ARTICLE 226 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA


PUBLIC INTEREST PETITION NO. OF 2008




Sarla S. Parekh and Anr.

… Petitioners


Versus


Union of India and Anr.

… Respondents















PETITION


Dated this ___ day of December 2008



















Messrs DSK Legal

Advocates for the Petitioners

4th Floor, Express Towers

Nariman Point

Mumbai 400 021

Kayani readying for military coup in Pakistan

, by Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad
Published in Hindustan Times, Wed 11 March 2009 “All The General’s Men”

Published in Hindustan Times, Edit Page, issue of Wednesday, 11 March 2009
All The General’s Men by Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad

Copyright: Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad, 2009
International Publishing Rights in all media with Hindustan Times
Reproduction or forwarding in any format, in any jurisdiction, strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad

Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad
Tel: {91} 9990 265 822, 98 118 36 331, 987 12 45678, 98 10 91 12 34
p@r67.net r@50g.com rp@k.st

Published in Hindustan Times, Edit Page, issue of Wednesday, 11 March 2009
All The General’s Men by Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad

The warnings issued by Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari to clear up the political mess by March 16 has led to speculation that the Army may again seize power. Even though Kayani has long been perceived to be apolitical, he has actually been preparing since September 2008 to launch a coup.

According to military experts, an Army Chief would require the close cooperation of three key officers in order to carry out a coup – the Commander of the X Corps at Rawalpindi, the Chief of General Staff at General Head Quarters, and the Director General of the Inter Services Intelligence. In a reshuffle carried out on 29 September 2008, Kayani had placed his trusted loyalists in these three key positions.

Significantly, these three officers were all promoted from major generals to lieutenant generals only on that date. They therefore owe their posts to Kayani and not to Pervez Musharraf. Even though they are the most junior of the 31 lieutenant generals in terms of age and length of service, being due to retire only in September 2012, they hold the three most powerful positions.

Major General Tahir Mahmood, Commander of the Special Services Group, was promoted and posted as Corps Commander of the powerful X Corps at Rawalpindi. Operations along the Line of Control, Siachen and Kargil come under him.

Major General Mohammad Mustafa Khan, who was in the ISI, was promoted and appointed as the Chief of General Staff at General Head Quarters, a post which traditionally acts as the eyes and ears of the Chief of Army Staff. The Military Operations and Intelligence Directorates function under him.

Most importantly, Major General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, who was Director General Military Operations, in charge of anti-militant operations in the North West Frontier Province and Federally Administered Tribal Areas, was promoted and posted as Director General of the ISI.

Significantly, Kayani had himself held these crucial posts earlier, where he had gained the trust and admiration of his junior officers due to his professionalism and discipline, as well as the fact that he had risen from a humble background, his father being a Naib Subedar in the army. Regard for him rose when he declined to promote the careers of his younger brothers – two retired as majors and one as a brigadier.

When he was promoted as lieutenant general in September 2003, Kayani was entrusted as Corps Commander of the powerful X Corps at Rawalpindi, in spite of his relative lack of seniority. He was in this post till October 2004, when he was transferred as Director General of the ISI. He headed ISI till October 2007, when he was promoted as a full general, and made the Vice Chief of Army Staff, superseding Lt Gen Khalid Kidwai who was in charge of the nuclear weapons programme. Kayani is the only officer who held the position of DG of ISI and then went on to become the Chief of Army Staff. It is a measure of his control over the army that none of the dozen major generals who were superseded in the September 2008 restructuring raised any protest.

Zardari’s refusal to reinstate Iftikhar Chaudhary as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and his vendetta against the Sharif brothers have nullified the moral and intellectual arguments against the regime of Pervez Musharraf. Indeed, Musharraf has indicated his willingness to become president again. Zarari’s nickname has changed from “Mr Ten Per Cent” to “Mr Hundred Per Cent Liability”, in contrast to the financial rectitude of Kayani and Musharraf.

It is reported that Kayani’s warning to Zardari was issued with the encouragement of USA – he had just returned from a visit there where he met USA’s National Security Adviser General James Jones and Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke. This is a significant change of direction for USA, which had recently accused Kayani of maintaining links with Islamic militant groups after telephone intercepts revealed that he had referred to Taliban leader Jalaluddin Haqqani as a “strategic asset”. But Kayani is a better bet for the USA compared to an incompetent, corrupt and vindictive Zardari.

Even though Kayani has been perceived as apolitical, it is worth keeping in mind the words of a serving US general: “But the elevation to the post of army chief has been known to change Pakistani officers…All the military dictators so far – Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Zia ul Haq, Pervez Musharraf, had a reputation of being apolitical before they actually seized power…”

What is most worrisome for India is that within a few years, the Islamic fundamentalists who joined the army during the days of Zia ul Haq will rise to the lieutenant general levels. India will then be subject to more terrorist attacks from Islamic militant groups sponsored by Islamist generals.

Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad, an alumnus of Carnegie Mellon and IIT
Kanpur, heads a group on C4ISRT (Command, Control, Communications and
Computers Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Targeting) in
South Asia.

Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad
Tel: {91} 9990 265 822, 98 118 36 331, 987 12 45678, 98 10 91 12 34
p@r67.net r@50g.com rp@k.st

Mailing Address
Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad
19 Maitri Apts, CIS Off Soc # 19
A – 3, Paschim Vihar
New Delhi 110 063

Published in Hindustan Times, Edit Page, issue of Wednesday, 11 March 2009
All The General’s Men By Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad

Copyright: Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad, 2009
International Publishing Rights in all media with Hindustan Times
Reproduction or forwarding in any format, in any jurisdiction, strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Ravi Visvesvaraya Prasad

South American Nations Form Regional Defense Council

March 12th 2009, by James Suggett - Venezuelanalysis.com

Defense ministers from Venezuela and eleven other South American nations formed the South American Defense Council Tuesday at a summit in Chile. The council will be a diplomatic forum to diffuse regional conflicts, increase transparency in military expenditures, and to promote military cooperation for the fulfillment of regional security needs.

Chilean Defense Minister José Goñi said the new council will “give life to an alliance that strengthens mutual confidence through integration, dialogue, and cooperation in defense matters.”

A declaration signed by the ministers at the summit said the council aims to construct a “zone of peace” on the South American continent, and “a South American identity in defense matters that contributes to the strengthening of Latin American and Caribbean unity.”
The declaration also establishes a commitment by each member nation to respect the territorial sovereignty of other member nations, and to the protection of democratic systems of government.

The council will meet at least once per year, and among its tasks will be the identification of common security risks, including potential natural disasters, and to prepare a means of immediate consultation among regional security chiefs to plan joint responses.

The council will also build a network for sharing military knowledge, policies, and technological innovations. This includes linking up military training academies and founding a new “South American Center of Strategic Defense Studies.” And, the council will promote bi-lateral and multi-lateral investment in the region’s defense industries.

The new defense council is an arm of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), a political integration organization that began informally in 2004 and was formally constituted last May. Its member countries are Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Surinam y Guyana.

The United States is not included in the defense council, but the council discussed the possibility of the U.S. participating as an observer if the U.S. changes its policy toward Cuba.

“The entire international community is against the blockade and other arbitrary U.S.-imposed measures against Cuba,” said Venezuelan Vice President Ramón Carrizalez, who was recently appointed defense minister in accordance with a new law that separates military administration from operations.

Brazil, Latin America’s biggest arms producer, has been the most active promoter of the defense council over the past year. Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim went on a tour of South American countries and visited Washington, D.C. last year to promote the idea.

Jobim has consistently emphasized that the council does not propose a common army or any military operations against third parties, and should not be viewed as a southern equivalent of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Jobim’s tour came in the aftermath of Colombia’s attack on guerrilla rebels in Ecuadoran territory last March, which set off a regional diplomatic crisis and gave impetus to the idea of a regional defense council.

Upon joining UNASUR, Colombia at first declined membership in the defense council, but this week Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos signed the council’s founding document.

Nonetheless, Santos’s declaration last week that justified Colombia’s cross-border attacks on rebel adversaries indicates that Colombia’s civil conflict could become a regional security issue again in the near future.

The twelve ministers at the summit in Chile agreed to meet again in Quito, Ecuador, within half a year to evaluate the progress of the agreement signed Tuesday in Santiago.

Is talibanised South the Swat Valley of India?

Source: VijayaVani
B R Haran
14 Mar 2009



After Islamabad’s peace deal which allowed Taliban to takeover Swat Valley, the latter took out a massive two-day rally, openly denigrating democracy and establishing Sharia. As a mark of things to come, a Geo TV journalist was murdered in the immediate aftermath of the takeover. While the connection between Al Qaida and Taliban is no secret, India’s most wanted criminal, Dawood Ibrahim, has also reportedly struck a deal with the Taliban.


The spread of Taliban into the interiors of Pakistan and its nexus with extant terror outfits is confirmed by the latest ambush on Sri Lankan cricketers. The attack exposed the failure of intelligence and security, the complacency of the Army, and the incapacity of the security forces to meet surprise challenges by terrorists.


The rogue state of Pakistan, the most potent breeding ground for terrorists, is now experiencing terror attacks on its own soil. The present government, which came to power on a ‘sympathy wave’ following the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, is wanting in all areas of governance. It can neither control the ISI, nor the terror outfits, and in fact surrendered the Swat Valley to the Taliban. Pakistanis in general have been too willing to accept the Wahabi order and Sharia. In a nutshell, Pakistan is a failed state!

Pakistan’s talibanisation has evolved slowly since Partition. Having declared itself an Islamic State, it ensured that the minorities were driven out, liquidated, or converted. At times, even Shiites, Sufis and Ahmadiyas were not spared as Wahabi Sunnis took control of the country. While clandestinely supporting Taliban and Al Qaeda, Islamabad enjoyed American patronage on the pretext of assisting the latter in Afghanistan, and used US largesse in its machinations against India, from the Kashmir Valley to all corners of the nation.

Jihadi attacks


Successive Indian governments, committed to minority appeasement, have failed to realize that this breeds separatism and that “indoctrinated” elements are working against the nation. The fundamentalists have increased and jihadi “sleeper cells” have come up in several states in concert with Pakistan’s ISI.


The advent of the UPA government led to a sharp rise in sleeper modules and the rejuvenation of SIMI under different names, such as ‘Indian Mujahideen’ (IM), and a plethora of terror attacks on Indian soil. UPA’s inefficacy in tackling terrorism resulted in two dozen ‘major’ terror attacks (excluding Kashmir) – from a bomb blast on 15 August 2004 in Assam to the Mumbai carnage of 26 November 2008. Major cities and towns such as Ayodhya, Varanasi, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Malegaon and others were affected, and thousands of innocents lost their precious lives, while many more were injured, some maimed for life.


Yet the UPA was naïve enough to withdraw thousands of troops from the borders and facilitate terrorist infiltration through buses and trains in the name of Confidence Building Measures (CBM). It also almost surrendered the Siachen post, but timely intervention by the Chiefs of Armed Forces and BJP top brass staved off this calamity.


Pakistan as co-victim


The UPA inexplicably dubbed Pakistan as a “victim” of terrorism and proposed a “joint mechanism” against terror, when Pakistan is the main “perpetrator” of terror against India. Its concern for Muslim votes not only tainted its Pakistan and Kashmir policies, but also the anti-terror policy and decisions on national security. The Prime Minister did not blush saying he lost sleep over the plight of terror suspects.


Most astonishingly, the UPA invented something called “Hindu Terror’ and “Saffron Terror,” which served only to dilute the fight against jihad. At the fag end of its term, it took the grim carnage at Mumbai and the deaths of hundreds of innocents for UPA to sober up.


But is it awake?


Dr. C. I. Issac, delivering the P.A. Ramakrishnan Memorial Lecture in Chennai on 8 March 2009, dwelt extensively upon the fast-breeding Talibanisation faced by Kerala. He cited various instances over a period of time and exposed the aiding and abetting of Talibanisation by political fronts. This writer had a short discussion with Dr. Issac regarding a similar trend in Tamil Nadu. As both states share a vast border from Nilgiris and Gudalur to Coimbatore and from Theni to Thirunelveli and Kanyakumari, it is not a surprise that both have become a breeding ground for fundamentalist elements.


There has been a surge in the growth of Jihadi elements in Tamil Nadu in the last two decades. When a countrywide ban was enforced on SIMI, the Tamil Nadu unit took the avatars of “Al Umma” and “Jihad Committee” and Al Umma made its first major strike at the RSS HQs in Chennai in November 1993, killing 11 swayamsevaks.


The Jihad Committee, which has been regularly indulging in communal riots in the state, disintegrated when its leader Palani Baba was murdered. Thereafter the TMMK (Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam) was launched in 1995, giving a political colour to Islamic fundamentalism. It was founded by Hyder Ali, a SIMI activist and former associate of Palani Baba in the Jihad Committee, who left Al Umma after a tiff with its president Basha.


When Al Umma was banned for the Coimbatore blasts in February 1998, it changed colour as ‘Manitha Neethi Paasarai” (MNP). Thus, neither the banning of SIMI and Al Umma, nor disintegration of the Jihad Committee, reduced Islamic fundamentalism in the state. In fact, it started growing in different avatars with the support of Dravidian parties, which go to any extent for the sake of votebanks.


There is a general feeling outside the state that Tamil Nadu is normally peaceful and that terror attacks are confined to the RSS HQs attack of 1993 and the Coimbatore blasts of 1998. The reality is that between 1993 and 1998 there have been several terror attacks, to cite but a few:


1] Wife of a Dalit-Hindu activist died in a blast in Nagore on 4 July 1995.
2] Blast in Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple on 18 May 1996; TMMK leader Naina Mohammed and Sait Saheb, Raja Hussain and Fakrudin (cadres) arrested.
3] Bomb attack on Doordarshan Kendra’s Thanjavur office on 6 June 1997.
4] Scores of bomb explosions occurred within 20 months prior to the Coimbatore blasts.
5] On 6 December 1997 bombs exploded in Coimbatore-bound Cheran Express, Madurai-bound Pandiyan Express and Allepey Express in Trichur.
6] On 10 January 1998, a bomb exploded on Anna Flyover in the heart of Chennai city.
7] On 18 September 1997, five Hindu activists murdered in different places; three fundamentalists arrested.
8] On 9 December 1997, a cycle bomb exploded in Coimbatore suburb killing three women; Sultan Nazar and Abdul Quayum arrested.


The growth of Islamic fundamentalism was apparent during the DMK regime between 1996 and 2001. Though the law and order was comparatively better during AIADMK rule between 2001 and 2006, clandestine operations continued and sustained fundamentalism. This became evident when five MNP cadres were arrested on 22 July 2006 in Coimbatore (DMK came back to power in May 2006) on charges of plotting serial bomb blasts similar to the 1998 blasts. The five were acquitted on 9 February 2008 on grounds of being arrested on false charges!


Besides, half a dozen cadres of Al Umma were suddenly released from Palayamkottai prison in May 2006, within days of the present DMK government taking charge. During the Ganesh Chaturthi festival and visarjanam (immersion) processions, the TMMK habitually creates hurdles in many places. The worst incidents occurred in 2007 in Thammampatti near Attur in Salem district, where hundreds of innocent Tamil Hindus were arrested on false charges and it was alleged that state police committed human rights violations against arrested Hindus.


Regarding the release of Islamic fundamentalists by the DMK, Indian Express (8 August 2006) reported, “senior Policemen in Thirunelveli were shocked by what they termed the DMK Government’s ‘blatant sympathy’ for the Muslim fundamentalists.” This misplaced sympathy for the sake of votebanks is allegedly the reason behind the government’s refusal to appeal against the acquittal of Abdul Nazar Madani in the Coimbatore blasts case.


With the release of these fundamentalists from various prisons, Muslim pockets have begun to be Talibanised. A good example can be seen in Muslim-dominated ‘Melvisharam’ in Vellore district, where the dominant community refused civic amenities to non-Muslims of ‘Keezhvisharam,’ who have to depend on Melvisharam for anything. Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy approached the Madras High Court and later the Supreme Court to order a separate Panchayat status for Keezhvisharam, to save non-Muslims from dependence upon the oppressive Muslims of Melvisharam.



Dr. Swamy commented, “Islamic theology does not classify nations according to percentage of Muslim population, but according to the nature of the majority - whether it is united and aggressive or divided and passive. India is in the latter category, and hence even where Muslims are less than five percent as in Tamil Nadu, in pockets in the state where Muslims are in majority such as Thondi in Ramanathapuram district or Melvisharam in Vellore district, Muslims have established Dar ul Islam where Hindus are denied all civic amenities and live de facto as dhimmis.”


With Talibanisation comes the oppression of women. A woman running a tea shop and another working in a local beedi factory were waylaid and murdered in broad daylight in Thirunelveli, for trivial reasons, in the name of religion. Indian Express (26 March 2007) reported, “the police spoke of Al Umma, the fundamentalist outfit which had become weak after the arrest of more than 100 of its members in the Coimbatore case, which under the DMK regime had been rejuvenated and was trying to enforce edicts on the Muslim community in the districts of south Tamil Nadu.”


Recent events in Pakistan, particularly after Mumbai 2008, pose a real threat to India. Fundamentalists took out a huge rally in Calicut, Kerala. Though ignored by mainstream print and electronic media, the Tamil daily, Dinamalar, reported (19 February 2009) that the Popular Front of India (PFI) organised a massive “National Political Conference” in Calicut from 13-15 February 2009. Whether coincidence or planned, the Taliban simultaneously took out huge rallies in Swat Valley. The conference was attended by members of PFI from 16 states including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa and Delhi. Its ‘theme’ was “Power for People”!


At the conference, seminars for students and NRIs were conducted separately. Leaders from various politics-oriented Islamic outfits participated; one seminar was titled “Political power and Alternatives.” A seminar “against” terrorism was inaugurated by Magsaysay Award winner and Human Rights (sic) activist Sandip Pandey, and attended by ‘secularists’ like Swami Lakshmi Sankaracharya from Kanpur, advocate Prashant Bushan and Chennai-based Prof. Arunan. Secularist Kavitha Srivatsava, president, PUCL-Rajasthan, inaugurated the seminar on “Women power in politics”. National Ulemas organised a seminar on “Religion in granting power”. Sri Goya, editor, ‘Tejas’ chaired a meeting of media persons. A seminar on “Reservations” was also held. PFI’s National Political Conference culminated with a massive rally and public meeting attended by over two lakh people.


On 17 February 2007, The New Indian Express, Chennai, reported: “The ‘Q’ branch of the state police is now concerned about the formation of a new Islamic outfit, ‘Popular Front of India’ (PFI), a coordinated effort between three organisations – Karnataka For Dignity (KFD), Karnataka; Manitha Neethi Pasarai (MNP), Tamil Nadu; and National Development Front (NDF), Kerala. The new organisation was launched on Friday (16th February 2007) in Bangalore, ‘to coordinate & strengthen grassroot level developmental activities throughout the country,’ followed by an ‘Empower India’ conference in the garden city. Though the organisation’s agenda has been well spelt out – democracy & social justice, the state police fear that the organisation had been set up to propagate hardliner ideology. A ‘Q’ branch official had said, ‘What is worrying us is the fact that a majority of the leaders of this new front belonged to the now banned SIMI’. The decision to launch Popular Front of India (PFI) has been taken at a conference of KFD, MNP & NDF held on 22 November 2006 at Calicut. The leaders of PFI include K.M. Shareef, President of KFD, Gulam Muhammed, leader of MNP and Abdur Rahman Baqari of NDF and they have decided to confine their activities to South India’.


A close look at the choice of words in their nomenclatures tells us how cleverly they are getting into mainstream politics! Soft and gentle words like Dignity, National, Development, Manitham (Humanity), Neethi (Justice), Popular and Munnetram (Improvement or forwarding), have replaced hardline words like Jihad and other Arabic or Urdu words. They claim to work for Democracy, Social Justice and Development! Similar nomenclatures were used in the just-concluded Calicut conference. The MNP attempted to take out a rally in Madurai last Republic Day; wall advertisements put out by the outfit allegedly carried the figure of the JKLF-Flag. MNP is also alleged to be the new name of banned organisation Al Umma, just like the TN unit of SIMI changed itself to Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam after the Centre banned SIMI.


On 26 July 2006, Indian Express carried a report on MNP indulging in ‘conversion’ and conducting classes in the name of 'Arivagam' to brainwash new converts, especially scheduled castes, to train and recruit them to Jihadi squads. The MNP is reportedly active in places close to the Kerala border (Theni, Coimbatore, etc), so it can connect with Kerala-based NDF easily. Investigations of Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Mumbai blasts reveal that Kerala has been a permanent and save haven and a training ground for Islamic terrorists who have been sent on Jihadi missions from Kerala to Kashmir. Just last month, the TMMK inaugurated its political wing in the name of “Manithaneya Makkal Katchi” meaning “Humane People Party”! The leaders of these outfits have also participated in the Calicut conference.


There seems to be a sudden surge of Islamic outfits to capture or share political power in India. While pseudo-secular politicians use the term ‘Talibanisation’ for utterly irrelevant episodes and outfits, Muslim-dominated spaces are getting increasingly Talibanised. This is an ominous sign and the next government has a heavy responsibility on its shoulders.


The author is a senior journalist; he lives in Chennai

WebLab : A platform aiming at providing intelligence (business, strategic, military...)

EADS in Major Intelligence Play
According to IntelligenceOnline.com "French military intelligence and European security agencies appear keen to acquire WebLab, a platform designed by EADS to extract and disseminate all types of information"



WebLab : http://weblab-project.org/weblab-core/weblab/


The WebLab is a platform aiming at providing intelligence (business, strategic, military...) solutions and any other applications that need to process multimedia data (text, image, audio and video).
It is composed of several layers:
WebLab Core: An open source technical baseline (and free to use in any commercial application) acting as a runtime environment for unstructured information processing services. It has been developed by the Information Processing Competence Center of EADS Defence and Security and its partners in the following projects:
WebContent: The Semantic Web Platform, French ANR Project 2005,
VITALAS: Video & image Indexing and Retrieval in the Large Scale, European Project 2006,
e-Wok Hub: Environmental Web Ontology Knowledge Hub, French ANR Project 2006.
WebLab Services: A set of multimedia processing services and GUI either open source or commercial developed by EADS or its partners (among other, the one of the submentionned projects) to build specific applications.



WebLab Applications: A set of business specific applications either open source or commercial developed by EADS or its partners (among other, the one of the submentionned projects) to build specific applications.



One of this existing application is the EADS WISE application (WebLab Intelligence Solution by EADS) dedicated to the military domain.




Russian mathematician 'calculated' crisis, prepared for it

16:32 | 12/ 03/ 2009



MOSCOW, March 12 (RIA Novosti) - A prominent mathematician, known for his accurate predictions on Russia's 1998 financial crisis and the breakup of the U.S.S.R., 'calculated' the current credit crunch and prepared for it, Russia's government daily said on Thursday.

Viktor Maslov, a member of Russia's Academy of Sciences, who helped make calculations for a protective shelter over the Chernobyl nuclear power plant reactor after the 1986 disaster, said the processes now taking place in economics are similar to certain phenomena in physics, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported.

"I am referring to what is known as phase shifts, when a situation worsens abruptly, not gradually, and transforms into a different state, like an avalanche," Maslov told the daily. "Such processes are well known in physics, and are laid out in formulas of mathematical physics. They can also be applied to economics."

"Whether a crisis will break out or not, and even when this will happen, can be predicted," he told the paper.

Maslov said he had sold his apartment and country house in the summer, and sent the money to his children living abroad, advising them on how to invest it to survive the crisis.

Asked what advice he has for the administration of the United States, where the crisis originated, Maslov said they should not rescue large banks whose debts have long exceeded the "critical level," but focus on helping smaller banks that service individuals.

However, he was short on recommendations for Russia: "Our economy is too closed, and a large share of it is a shadow economy. It is therefore impossible to calculate critical figures and have a clear picture."