NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON: America’s top spy agency National Security Agency (NSA) was authorised by a US court in 2010 to carry out surveillance on the BJP along with five other political organisations, including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Pakistan Peoples Party, according to a classified document.
BJP figures in the list of foreign political parties along with Lebanon’s Amal, the Bolivarian Continental Coordinator of Venezuela and Egyptian National Salvation Front for whom the NSA had sought permission to carry out surveillance on, says the document made public by The Washington Post. The document lists the 193 foreign governments as well as factions and other entities that were part of a 2010 certification approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA). The list includes India.
“These are the entities about which the NSA may conduct surveillance for the purpose of gathering foreign intelligence,” the paper said, citing documents provided to it by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. Following the development, India said it will be “totally unacceptable” if it is found that privacy of Indian nationals or organisations was violated. “If what you say is correct, it is totally unacceptable that privacy of Indian individuals or organisations is transgressed upon,” said MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin on Tuesday.
BJP leaders appeared concerned over the reports of spying as they saw it as an attempt to interfere with the country’s democratic process.
Party sources noted that in 2010, the year of certification by the FISA court, anti-UPA sentiment was strong as the BJP was agitating against issues such as the CWG and 2G scams. (With PTI inputs)