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Revelations of US spying on BJP disconcerting: India

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Revelations of US spying on BJP disconcerting: India
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New Delhi: India Tuesday strongly reacted to revelations that the then opposition BJP was among the political parties across the world which a US court in 2010 authorised the country's National Security Agency to spy upon and termed the reported move as totally unacceptable and "extremely disconcerting".

Answering queries from media persons here, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that he had only heard about and not seen the revelations.

He was asked if the government had sought an explanation from the US over the reports that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was among the parties that the US' NSA had been authorised to spy upon.

Akbaruddin said that it was "extremely disconcerting" that India's privacy laws "concerning an individual or organisation" had been undermined .

He said India had in the past raised with the US the issue of its intelligence apparatus trawling electronic communications, mainly e-mails, and will follow the same procedure concerning the fresh revelations if these were true.

It was totally unacceptable that an Indian organisation's privacy was "being trampled upon", he said.

A classified document has revealed that the BJP was one of the six political parties across the world the NSA was authorised to spy upon.

The others were Lebanon's Amal, Venezuela's Bolivarian Continental Coordinator, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and National Salvation Front, and the Pakistan People's Party, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The document was released by the former NSA contractor-turned whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The US' Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court also permitted the NSA to covertly spy upon 193 foreign governments, including that of India, the documents said.

The BJP came to power in May at the head of a coalition government following general elections in India.

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