But, the flip side to all such developments is that the technology is also being used by some anti-social groups to carry out some destructive activities. For example, the terror network of groups like Al-Qaida etc. has been quite active in making use of networking, satellite communication etc. to shape up the nasty designs and thus causing tension in the society. Well, such groups have their own versions of truth, which they claim to be the motivation behind such acts. Therefore the governments of the world are supposed to come out with measures which can detect such designs and take corrective steps.
The business world today has become quite competitive. With shrinking profit margins and high levels of competition, the corporate world has been trying to minimise the costs associated with the production and manufacturing of goods and services. Minimising the pilferage happens to be another key motive during the production and transportation of goods and services. Therefore the company management tries out ways and means to take effective control of such happenings and plan out strategies to counter them. Similarly, the retail industry is known to have a number of items on display in such a manner that customers can have a reassuring look at the items and if they feel convinced, they can purchase those products. But there are occasions when some unscrupulous elements try to lift the items without the knowledge of the sales person. To avoid such shop-lifting attempts, retail stores are supposed to put in place a mechanism so that they can keep an eye on suspicious elements.
All such developments point out to one common phenomenon known as surveillance. If we take a look at the history of surveillance, the image of a burly spy in trench-coat standing on the roadside corner in the rain keeping an eye on the movement of the general public immediately comes to our mind. But the system of surveillance has graduated from this scenario and today the spy is not required to sweat out in the hot summer or drench himself in the rain, he can gather all the information on his desktop, laptop, palmtop, mobile or other handy gadgets, at the press of a button, thanks to the information gathering network. Though the modus operandi defers depending upon the importance and strategic nature of the surveillance, but one factor common in all such acts is the monitoring of our actions in different measure. While on the one hand we have biometrics machines on airports, railway stations, bus station, important offices etc. the RF tagging is used to keep an eye on goods as well as the movement of the workforce at many companies. A report brought out by the surveillance society in the year 2006 pointed out that the heightened concerns in view of the levels of intrusion in citizen's lives2. There are of course the incidents like the 9/11 attacks, the London bombing, the Mumbai shootout, the Pakistani bomb blasts, the Afghanistan war etc. which require intelligence inputs so that the terror elements are not in a position to work out similar incidents, but at