The public assertions made by Indian and American officials that no content was taken from India’s internet and telephone networks by U.S.’s National Security Agency (NSA) and that the American surveillance programs just looked at “patterns of communication” as a counter-terrorism measure are far from the truth, if not outright misleading.

According to a top secret document disclosed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and obtained by The Hindu, the PRISM programme was deployed by the American agency to gather key information from India by tapping directly into the servers of tech giants which provide services such as email, video sharing, voice-over-IPs, online chats, file transfer and social networking services.

And, according to the PRISM document seen by The Hindu, much of the communication targeted by the NSA is unrelated to terrorism, contrary to claims of Indian and American officials.

Instead, much of the surveillance was focused on India’s domestic politics and the country’s strategic and commercial interests.

This is the first time it’s being revealed that PRISM, which facilitates extensive, in-depth surveillance on live communications as well as stored information, was used by the world’s largest surveillance organization to intercept and pick content on at least three issues related to India’s geopolitical and economic interests. They are: Nuclear, Space and Politics.

The top-secret NSA document, which carries the seal of “Special Source Operations”, is called “A Week in the Life of PRISM reporting” and it shows “Sampling of Reporting topics from 2-8 Feb 2013”. Marked with a green slug that reads “589 End product Reports’’, the document carries the brand logos of companies like Gmail, Facebook, MSN, Hotmail, Yahoo!, Google, Apple, Skype, YouTube, paltalk.com and AOL on the top of the page.  see more

source:  thehindu