Sunday, July 21, 2024

Securing the fifth domain


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All warfare is based on deception- Sun Tzu. It might sound old, but strategic planners have foreseen the importance of waging a geo-economic warfare which has the potential to cripple strong economies. Edward Snowden and Julian Assange were familiar with this type which is why whistleblowers are a rare breed. In today’s world, information is incredibly important from weather reports, election updates to news flow, we are relentlessly dependent on Google news, Instagram feeds or X. Recent indicators have shown that Meghalaya is facing cybercrime issues, 70 percent of the cases reported are related to financial fraud, but this is likely just a small portion of the overall problem. Not only are we sharing data on the cloud space, but profiles to money transfers are at our fingertips. Lured by links which might give us a chance to redeem our luck, we ignore the minute details of this mammoth space. Do we hold a strong ground on communications intelligence?
The vulnerable section over here are children and older adults who still have to be sensitised more through informed debate or discussion, hours spent on screens and virtual windows it becomes easy for them to be lured through blackmailing or worse case trafficking. Definitely the Home Department of the state is deploying countermeasures, curating a separate department to fuse national security analysts, law enforcement experts, cyber warriors, media professionals would burn the exchequer’s pocket but there has to be an understanding between various stakeholders who have a responsibility to protect not only the 0 and 1 but lives which is on the razor’s edge.
Ashok Kumar and O.P Manocha’s book ‘Cyber Encounters’ reveals a fresh look into stories of how criminals have reshaped their modus operandi and why it is imperative for us to be practical in balancing our connected world.
Yours etc.,
Christopher Gatphoh,
Laitkor Rngi,

Prime Minister’s weird utterances!
When feverish campaigns for the 18th Lok Sabha elections were in full swings stretching from April to early June this year, we have read innumerable unsavoury plus unimaginable hullabaloos which are more often than not irrelevant as such.
None however, could match our Prime Minister Modi in terms of weird utterances which had bewildered all and sundry when he self-confessedly retorted that after the demise of his beloved mother he intrinsically realized that he was not biologically born, inferring that he was born in the Indian subcontinent via supernatural dynamics. Incidentally, when I asked some elderly women about their reactions to this specific statement of our Prime Minister, their unambiguous response was this was nothing short of an insult to the status of motherhood!
Further, Prime Minister Modi is quoted to have said that the world came to know the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi only after the release of the movie Gandhi on November 30,1982. Notably, however, even twenty years preceding the birth of Modi, one of the premier journals Time magazine in 1930 had eulogized Mahatma Gandhi as the, ‘ Most talked about man in the world’
Over and above that, in one of Modi’s election campaigns, he had publicly asserted that on Sunday workers enjoy a holiday which is a colonial or a Christian legacy enforced by the British administrators when they ruled our country. But lo and behold, it was the Bombay Mill Hands Association in 1890 that declared Sunday as a holiday for all labourers, pursuant to the unstinted efforts of Narayan Maghaji Lothande, a social reformer and the father of trade union movements in India, who unreservedly worked for ameliorating the work conditions of Indian workers in the 19th century
Putting two and two together of the foregoing contentions vis- a- vis Prime Minister Modi’s self-assertive utterances, one may be inclined to recall the unsettling words of Euripides a great Greek tragedian ,who said, “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.” God forbid that this ‘ll not happen to our incumbent Prime Minister!
Yours etc.,
Jerome K Diengdoh,
Via email

Postal service in Meghalaya gone to the dogs
In the greater interest of the public, I declare: Trust Indian Post at your own peril. Booking a document and expecting timely delivery is like fooling yourself. My fervent advice? Never, under any circumstances, send “important” documents via Speed Post, let alone any other mode of posting. Documents might either go missing or be delivered only after two weeks—sometimes even one or two months later. There are countless nightmarish situations in which people suffer daily
Allow me to amuse you with my latest postal adventure. An urgent document dispatched to Tura from GPO, Shillong-1, on June 12, 2024, via Speed Post waybill no: EE451605421IN, was only delivered on June 25, 2024. This delivery took 13 days. What if some parents book mark sheets or critical documents to the MBOSE, and they never get delivered? The horror! In 2016, a big parcel sent off to Houston, USA, through express service was delivered only after four and a half months. Imagine the ordeal we all went through because of the missing parcel. Usually, only 1% of customers lodge complaints about their postal grievances.
In all seriousness, I pose this question to the Chief Postmaster General and his merry band of subordinates: Why are you all in these exalted positions if your service only brings public despair? Many have reported that several branches are reluctant to book parcels and update their savings or recurring deposit passbooks, further adding to the public frustration.
So, dear Chief Postmaster General, why did my document take 13 days to cover an eight-hour drive from Shillong to Tura? Why has the postal service in Meghalaya gone to the dogs? Please answer my question in the greater interest of the people who suffer silently. You are not paid to make gullible citizens suffer endlessly.
Yours etc.,
Salil Gewali,


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