Approaching the Singularity
Essentially Sharan is iterating the view of science fiction writer/Computer Scientist Vernor Vinge in his book "Marooned in Real Time" and in the following essay: http://mindstalk.net/vinge/vinge-sing.html. The argument flows from Moore's Law - the rate at which technology and miniaturization advances is accelerating and the cost is dropping so quickly that advanced weaponry once available only to governments becomes available first to well funded groups then ultimately individuals.
Israel sees this today with Hezbollah, an essentially private militia acting as a state within a state, firing high tech cluster style weapons at Israel and improvements in Qassam rockets coming from Gaza fired daily at Israel's western border. This is stuff formerly of James Bond fantasy become real.
And a comment to "Evil Tom" who's knowledge of the Middle East might be limited to what he reads in The Guardian: Israel dropped cluster munitions ONLY in the last 3 days of last summer's war and had by November handed over all the telemetry information they could to the Lebanese government to assist with the clean up. The munitions were close to expiry date (leaving a higher % of unexploded bomblets) and I believe it was a bone headed decision to use them as in "lets use these things now before we have to throw them out". They were not "dropped on gardens" but aimed at legitimate Hezbollah targets. In contrast, Hezbollah used mid range missiles containing cluster munitions (ball bearings not bomblets) designed to do maximum damage to human beings, poorly aimed (Israel knocked out Lebanese radar early on) solely at civilian targets.
Anyone who deals in security is practically by definition paranoid. High tech exploits easily get shrink wrapped to the point where script kiddies can use them without any understanding of how to build them. Intelligence gathering using digital cameras, satellite images, and command and control using cell phones and wifi are all dirt cheap. There are real threats (including the threat of too much security and surveillance) and discussing these dangers is an unfortunately one of the issues we need to deal with as a free society. Up until now the free dissemination of information has been one of the strengths of Western civilization - it might also wind up being our Achilles heel.
Dan King, Canada