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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Dec 2014

India to take up with US snooping of its embassy

PTI  New Delhi, July 03, 2013
First Published: 18:49 IST(3/7/2013) | Last Updated: 21:40 IST(3/7/2013)

Concerned over the "disconcerting" reports that its mission were being spied upon by American intelligence agencies, India on Wednesday said it will take up the matter with the US authorities.

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"We have seen and studied the media reports of our embassy in Washington being amongst the list of diplomatic missions which were intrusively monitored by the US agencies.

"Obviously, we are concerned at such disconcerting reports and we will certainly raise with the US authorities these serious allegations," spokesperson in the external affairs ministry said in New Delhi.

He was asked about India's position on recent revelation that Indian Embassy in the US was among the list of 38 diplomatic missions which were being spied upon by American intelligence agencies, as per the latest top secret US National Security Agency documents leaked by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

On external affairs minister Salman Khurshid'a remarks defending the vast US surveillance programme, for which the minister received a lot of flak from opposition parties as well as several commentators, the spokesperson, in sharp contrast, said "our views remain what we have said previously, that we were concerned."

However, he maintained that the minister was "only elaborating" on his discussions with the US Secretary of State John Kerry during his last meeting on the issue.

On Tuesday, in Brunei, Khurshid had said "this is not scrutiny and access to actual messages. It is only computer analysis of patterns of calls and emails that are being sent. It is not actually snooping specifically on content of anybody's message or conversation."

The remarks appeared to dilute the stand of the ministry which had initially termed as "unacceptable" any privacy violation after Snowden, a former technical assistant for CIA, had blown the lid off US' National Security Agency's secret spy programme.


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