Even as the Centre termed any violation of the Indian privacy laws completely unacceptable, National Security Adviser (NSA) Shiv Shankar Menon has asked the US Ambassador Nancy Powell for more information on reports that a US agency had been keeping tabs on the Indian citizens as part of its global data mining programme to monitor communication over the Internet.
Official sources said that Menon had on Monday conveyed to the US envoy “our interest in knowing a bit more”. After Iran, Pakistan, Jordan and Egypt, India came in fifth with 6.3 billion tracked reports generated in March, as per a slide on the ‘Boundless Informant’ program of Washington’s National Security Agency, which was revealed by whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
The US has conveyed that it was still assessing the damage resulting from the leaks and hence was not in a position to provide the necessary clarifications yet. Sources added that the Centre could take a call on which all laws were violated and take follow-up action only after the US provides more information on snoopgate.
Earlier on Tuesday, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that India was surprised and shocked that it was among the top five countries tracked by the US electronic spying agency. “Obviously, we will find it unacceptable if Indian laws relating to privacy of information of ordinary citizens have been violated,” he added.