We consistently underestimate what criminals and terrorists can do.
Technology has made our world increasingly open, and for the most part, that's great, but all of this openness may have unintended consequences.
Consider the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai. The men that carried that attack out were armed with AK-47s, explosives and hand grenades.
They threw these hand grenades at innocent people as they sat eating in cafes and waited to catch trains on their way home from work.
But heavy artillery is nothing new in terrorist operations. Guns and bombs are nothing new.
What was different this time is the way that the terrorists used modern information communications technologies to locate additional victims and slaughter them.
They were armed with mobile phones. They had BlackBerries. They had access to satellite imagery.
They had satellite phones, and they even had night vision goggles. But perhaps their greatest innovation was this.
We've all seen pictures like this on television and in the news. This is an operations center.
And the terrorists built their very own op center across the border in Pakistan, where they monitored the BBC, al Jazeera, CNN and Indian local stations.
They also monitored the Internet and social media to monitor the progress of their attacks and how many people they had killed. They did all of this in real time.
The innovation of the terrorist operations center gave terrorists unparalleled situational awareness
and tactical advantage over the police and over the government. What did they do with this? They used it to great effect.
At one point during the 60-hour siege, the terrorists were going room to room trying to find additional victims.
They came upon a suite on the top floor of the hotel, and they kicked down the door and they found a man hiding by his bed.
And they said to him, "Who are you, and what are you doing here?" And the man replied, "I'm just an innocent schoolteacher."
Of course, the terrorists knew that no Indian schoolteacher stays at a suite in the Taj.
They picked up his identification, and they phoned his name in to the terrorist war room,
where the terrorist war room Googled him, and found a picture and called their operatives on the ground and said, "Your hostage, is he heavyset?
Is he bald in front? Does he wear glasses?" "Yes, yes, yes," came the answers.
The op center had found him and they had a match. He was not a schoolteacher.
He was the second-wealthiest businessman in India, and after discovering this information, the terrorist war room gave the order to the terrorists on the ground in Mumbai. ("Kill him.")