US 'snooping' outrages young Indians

New Delhi


Reports that India is the fifth most tracked nation by the US intelligence system has invited strong reactions from youth, who consider it an intrusion into their privacy.

A recent revelation by the UK-based Guardian newspaper about the extensive spying operations of the United States National Security Agency has exposed the regular interception and monitoring of electronic communications between ordinary people across several countries, including India.

"People share their most intimate details over the Internet. To think it is being spied upon is absolutely shocking," Salma Sultana Ahmed, 23, a student of mass communication, told IANS.

"The level of insecurity will increase after this episode," she said.

Prashanth Perumal, 24, a media professional, felt the reasons given by the US government that its agencies snooped around in India for security considerations, does not hold ground when ordinary citizens with no past criminal record are subject to surveillance.

"What danger does a common man pose to the mighty US? It already has wide-ranging tracking mechanisms specifically intended for people with questionable backgrounds. To spy on entire sections of society is unacceptable," Perumal said.

Shrikant, 25, an architectural designer, was more emphatic in his criticism, and said that the US' move was ironical.

"It is not surprising that they (US) have done this. Many countries in the past have demonstrated their snooping capability citing security reasons. It is ironical that a country like the US which promotes individual liberty as a value does this," he told IANS.

According to Sudarshan, dean, School of Government and Public Policy at O.P. Jindal Global University, the entire episode has surprised the Indian government.

"As a individual, I find it totally undesirable and unfortunate. The fact that the Indian government has chosen to respond in a formal manner shows the seriousity of the allegations," he told IANS.

"The US is a country of paradoxes. On one hand they preach and promote personal liberties but recent events show their poor track record in protecting the rights of people," he added. - IANS