There has been a furor over Snowdon revelations on NSA snooping all and sundry.
But the Indian Embassy probably was busy attending cocktail circuits, while the NSA merrily bugged the Indian embassy in Washington DC, with bugs capable of copying the entire hard Drive of Computers,let alone conversations!
At the political level there is nobody to take care of these small issues as they are busy drafting legislation to save tainted, jailed MPs,Ministers.
According to the 2010 COMINT (communication intelligence) document about “Close Access SIGADs”, the offices of Indian diplomats and high-ranking military officials stationed at these important posts were targets of four different kinds of electronic snooping devices:
Lifesaver, which facilitates imaging of the hard drive of computers
Highlands, which makes digital collection from implants
Vagrant, which collects data of open computer screens, and
Magnetic, which is a collection of digital signals
All the Indian “targets” in the list are marked with an asterisk, which, according to the document, means that they “have either been dropped or are slated to be dropped in the near future.” The NSA document doesn’t say when and how the bugs were implanted or how much of data was lifted from Indian offices, but all of them were on the “target” list for more than one type of data collection bugs.
Asked by The Hindu, why India’s U.N. mission and embassy, which clearly pose no terrorism threat to the U.S., were targeted by the NSA, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said: “The U.S. government will respond through diplomatic channels to our partners and allies. While we are not going to comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity, as a matter of policy we have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations. We value our cooperation with all countries on issues of mutual concern.”
But the spokesman didn’t answer The Hindu’s specific questions about why the top-secret document about spying on Indian missions shouldn’t be revealed or “reproduced by this newspaper in full or part”…
The Indian mission to the UN has so far not reacted to either the reports of snooping on foreign missions nor to The Hindu’s queries sent to its office in New York, but the embassy officials have discussed the issue with their American counterparts. “Our government has expressed concerns over the reports of monitoring of the Indian Embassy in Washington, D.C. by U.S. agencies, and the Embassy in Washington D.C. has raised these concerns with the U.S. government,” said an embassy official in an email repose to The Hindu’s queries, without elaborating at what level and in which meeting the issue was raised or what was the response of American officials.