The Borderless World and Terrorism

A borderless world is something I had to often talk about during my days at Cisco Systems as its pioneering technologies enabled that.

Its vision and innovation stopped at facilitating a connected world through Cisco’s borderless network architecture – with the network as the platform to change the way we live, learn, work and play.

In such a technology-enabled borderless world, how did potential terrorists succeed in migrating to tolerant, civilised countries in the West and go on to wreak havoc on their benefactors?

Network security often gets breached by hackers who are getting smarter and smarter. But what about physical security?

Mother of all Blunders?: The West has been a physically borderless world that people from largely impoverished, Islamic countries have been easily able to migrate to on some pretext or the other. Generally, they merely exploited the openness of the West in embracing people whom they believed were persecuted in their own motherlands.

That was perhaps the mother of all blunders they made and continue to make! I cannot help wondering if mindless openness to immigration is at the root of the problem here.

Silly Question: Under the circumstances, I have this silly question about whether the world can ever be completely open with everyone anywhere having the right to migrate wherever they want to  and live happily thereafter?

That kind of a real borderless world with no restrictions on physical movement of people can only breed more trouble. If anything, the West may be thinking of finding ways to get out of the U.N. refugee convention they had signed up to for accommodating asylum seekers.

In summary, here are two scenarios, virtual and real, I talked about above with both impacting us through security breaches:

  • The virtual world – A connected world enabled by a borderless network architecture – no matter how robust the disruptive technologies are, hackers always find ways to rupture their defense mechanism and cause pain for users
  • A physical borderless world – Here a liberal, compassionate and happy West openly embraces people facing persecution in their troubled, impoverished home countries. But occasionally their security and peace are disrupted by terrorists who had found their home there. Their benefactors become victims!

Here are some of my past posts on the issue of political asylum:

Sydney hostage-taker an Iranian on asylum –

How US deported an Indian Family on the Sly –

The Sri Lankan Refugee Factor –

People of Pakistani Descent linked to London Blasts –

PMs Living in Exile –

G Joslin Vethakumar


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