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This was done in such a systematic and organised manner using all technical resources of the web, social networking sites and free sms messages, etcetera, whose origins were concealed in various ways, that nearly  30,000 north-eastern Indians left the South in a hurry within a couple of days fearing for their lives. Jihadi groups like Lashkar-e-Tayyeba sponsored by Pakistan were later found to be involved.

The government of India did take action and banned some websites and blogs for a fortnight, but by then it was already too late. Many Indian intellectuals and activists considered this a violation of freedom of expression. I found myself in a minority of one in a panel discussion on a government-run TV Channel Doordarshan arguing that governments should have the power as well as the capability to intervene in emergency situations. For, the issue is not just that of terrorists seeking to provoke sectarian, ethnic or communal violence through the misuse of cyberspace, or creating panic as they did in Bangalore; they may very well attack our vital infrastructural or defence resources. Some months ago, Iran’s nuclear installations were attacked by some computer viruses coming through cyberspace whose origins have still not been determined. As far as we know, these installations were not making weapons. But if these could be attacked in this way, nuclear weapons-making installations too can be attacked in future. One can’t even imagine what destruction such attacks would wreak.

Clearly the world faces a grave security challenge from cyberspace. Advantageous as internet has been in bringing the world together as a global village, at least for the millions of netizens, it has also the potential to be used as a threat to world peace.  -- Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam, addressing A parallel NGO event organised by RADDHO and its partner organisations in Room XXIII, Palais de Nations on 25 September, 2012 during the 21st regular session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.