NSA snooping: India should adopt ‘tit for tat’ policy

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Modi Government must fortify India's cyber space.
Nation woke up to shocking news report carried by Washington Post that said that the United States National Security Agency snooped the BJP has kicked-off the age-old debate that will US ever stop practicing such evil intentions. The answer is obviously 'no'. This raises a pertinent question what India needs to do to prevent such activities.

Former NSA contractor turned whistle-blower Edward Snowden's secret revelations on NSA snooping on various countries charted India among the top targets. The documents provided by Snowden further revealed BJP's name, apart from Lebanon's Amal, with links with Hezbollah, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and the Pakistan Peoples' Party to be snooped upon with the instruction of the US government. 

India must strengthen its cyber space as that’s the future

New Delhi categorically told the US diplomats that snooping of BJP was ‘unacceptable' and asked for a response and an assurance that it will not happen in future.

Earlier in the day, the MEA commented on the issue saying, "Our view is pretty clear that it is extremely disconcerting that privacy laws in India are undermined whether it is individuals or organisations."

Why this knee-jerk reaction:

What raises one's eyes is why this knee-jerk reaction from New Delhi when it is a known fact that the US has been practicing such kind of activities since decades. In an earlier report it was revealed that India was 5th-most-tracked nations by US agencies which used a secret data-mining programme to monitor worldwide internet data.

The then Foreign Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid known for being soft on US did nothing and instead chose to defend the US by saying ‘it was not actually snooping'.

What New Delhi needs to practice:

India despite receiving several such reports in the past has not taken any action nor did it take any bold step to prevent such activities by foreign agencies. It must be understood that it is impossible to put a restraint over foreign countries from spying. But what New Delhi can do is ponder over ways to prevent snooping at first hand. India must improve its cyber security to counter spying of highly classified data, which is always on the radar of Chinese, Pakistanis and US spy agencies.

Another report published in the Washington Post says, "An independent executive-branch board has concluded that a major National Security Agency surveillance program targeting foreigners overseas is lawful and effective but that certain elements push "close to the line" of being unconstitutional."

US at least admits to practicing such activities but what about countries like China, Pakistan who have been secretly spying on Indian cyber space but never uttered a word on the issue. India needs to learn from its past experiences that it has to follow its own interest and follow the suit. Instead of sitting quietly and doing nothing it is high time India starts tit for tat policy. 

India must strengthen its grip over cyber spying as it is the future of warfare. Narendra Modi Government needs to venture this unexplored territory, fortify India's cyber space and give a fitting reply to the enemies.

And as far as political parties are concerned they must be alert while sharing confidential data as there are domestic spies also in race to sneak into their personal conversations.

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