United Nations: Amid reports of cyber snooping by the US on leaders of some countries, India and four other BRICS nations have said that security in use of information and communication technologies is of paramount importance.
The foreign ministers of BRICS countries, comprised by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, met on the sidelines of the 68th United Nations General Assembly here.
In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the ministers, including External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, expressed their "concern about the reported practices of unauthorised interception of communications and data from citizens, businesses and members of governments, compromising national sovereignty and individual rights."
"They reiterated that it is important to contribute to and participate in a peaceful, secure, and open cyberspace and emphasised that security in the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) through universally accepted norms, standards and practices is of paramount importance," the statement said.
The statement comes after the Brazil-US diplomatic stand off in which Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff cancelled a long planned state visit to America next month in anger over National Security Agency`s widespread spying on her country.
Among the BRICS group of emerging nations, which featured quite high on the list of countries targeted by the secret surveillance programmes of the US` NSA, India was the number one target of snooping by the American agency.
In the overall list of countries spied on by NSA programmes, India stands at fifth place, with billions of pieces of information plucked from its telephone and internet networks just in 30 days.
Other issues of importance, such as Syria, were also discussed during the meeting.