Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: India on Wednesday decided to lodge an official protest with US over reports that networks in India were being tracked by the American intelligence which used a secret data-mining programme to monitor worldwide internet data.
New Delhi also made it clear that it would be "unacceptable" if it was found that domestic laws relating to privacy of information of citizens were violated.
"Yes, we are concerned and surprised about it," External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said.
He said that US and India have a cyber security dialogue which is coordinated by National Security Councils on both sides.
"We feel that this is the appropriate fora to discuss such issues. We intend to seek information and details during consultations between interlocutors from both sides on this matter in that appropriate forum," Akbaruddin said.
Asked about possible violations of Indian privacy laws, he said, "Obviously, we will find it to be unacceptable if Indian laws relating to privacy of information of Indian ordinary citizens have been violated. Surely we will, frankly, find it unacceptable".
He noted that reports about the spy programme was an evolving situation. "Every day we find new issues coming up. We will take it, rather than jump to conclusions at this stage.
"We will take it as it evolves and have a better understanding and a clearer paradigm of how to tackle this issue once broader paramemetres in its entirety are available for us," he said.
According to UK`s Guardian newspaper, India was the fifth most tracked country. The daily claims to have acquired top secret documents about US` National Security Agency`s (NSA) data-mining tool, called Boundless Informant.
A snapshot of the Boundless Informant data, contained in a top secret NSA "global heat map", shows that in March 2013 the agency collected 97 billion pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide.
It showed that Iran was the country where the largest amount of intelligence was gathered, with more than 14 billion reports in that period, followed by 13.5 billion from Pakistan.
Jordan, one of America`s closest Arab allies, came third with 12.7 billion, Egypt fourth with 7.6 billion and India fifth with 6.3 billion.
With PTI Inputs