This column is not to recount R N Kao’s successes or failures; he saw both in good measures. For despite the paucity, there have been some books both by his colleagues and some by later spies, one of whom had the good sense of recording him for posterity. Instead, this column is just to inspire us Indians – in a world where history is being slaughtered daily – to study our gradually eroding past.

Now that RIM has agreed to give ‘lawful’ access to the security agencies what is the guarantee that the government will not spy on legitimate communication (personal, business, legal) between citizens.

Given the Indian Government’s record in illegally tapping phones there is a huge possibility of them using the access to BB devices to monitor communications of business leaders, journalists, social activists, political rivals, and bureaucrats among others.

A White House official has revealed that the Obama administration was considering a spy swap well before the 10 were arrested on 27 June. White House officials were first briefed on the spy ring in February, while President Barrack Obama was made aware of the case on 11 June.

“The idea of a swap was discussed among the administration’s national security team before the arrests were made,” the source added. According to the White House, the US itself chose the names of the four men to be freed by Moscow.

According to security experts, Pakistan-based terror organizations — with help from Inter-Services Intelligence — have set up hundreds of terror cells/modules across India. A terror module is a functional unit which includes one or more terror cells. Every cell works independently of the other and the handlers in Pakistan manage these cells without worrying about the Indian agencies.

The recurring terror strikes in our country suggests that the Indian agencies does not have the required human intelligence about the numerous cells and modules that operate here.