2:30 am - Sunday September 23, 2018

Monitor on BJP: India summons top US diplomat

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BJP Says it was “totally unacceptable” that an Indian organisation or individual’s privacy was transgressed upon; seeks assurance that such incidences won’t recur

Reacting strongly to reports of the BJP being spied upon by U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), India on Wednesday summoned a top U.S. diplomat in New Delhi to raise the issue, saying it was “totally unacceptable” that an Indian organisation or Indian individual’s privacy was transgressed upon.

India also sought an assurance from the U.S. that it will not happen again.

Officials, however, did not name the U.S. diplomat summoned by the External Affairs Ministry.

Significantly, the U.S. currently has in India an interim ambassador Kathleen Stephens who came in after Nancy Powell resigned as U.S. Ambassador.

India also noted that it had raised the issue with the U.S. administration in Washington and the Embassy in India in July and November 2013 when reports emerged that the NSA had spied upon individuals and entities and said it was still “awaiting a response from American on this”.

India had reacted sharply when the reports of snooping by NSA came to light after revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013.

The BJP figures in the list of foreign political parties along with Lebanon’s Amal, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the Pakistan Peoples Party on whom the NSA was given permission to carry out surveillance, says the document made public on Monday by The Washington Post.

The document lists the 193 foreign governments as well as foreign factions and other entities that were part of a 2010 certification approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The list includes India.

“These are the entities about which the NSA may conduct surveillance for the purpose of gathering foreign intelligence,” the paper had said, citing documents provided to it by Mr. Snowden.


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