The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has called for an immediate end to surveillance by the United States and demanded that India lodge a protest against snooping that amounted to violation of sovereignty.

The recent exposure in the media of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) spying Internet and telephone data for intelligence purposes violated the sovereignty of nations and the privacy of individuals who used such services.

“The media revelations indicate that major telecom companies such as Verizon, AT&T and Internet companies such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple and Facebook have, in effect, have become tools of the U.S. government under the PRISM project. They also intercept cable lines for this purpose,” a CPI(M) Polit Bureau statement on Tuesday said

“It is significant that India is a major target of such intelligence gathering. It is the fifth largest target of such snooping, even ahead of countries such as China and Russia. The U.S official defence, including President Obama’s own response, is that the NSA was spying only on foreigners, no U.S. citizens’s privacy was violated and no U.S. laws were broken; and this was being done in the U.S. national interest,’ it said. It was now clear that the current control of Internet and its global governance under a U.S. Department of Commerce contract meant that the U.S. government controlled the Internet, the party said. With the increase of Internet’s importance to global communications, the dangers of such untrammelled control for other countries and the rights of its citizens were now clear.

“India must immediately protest against such violation of its citizen's rights and violation of its sovereignty,” it said.

“India must also press for an immediate initiative to democratise Internet governance and ensure that the U.S. intelligence agencies do not override the sovereignty of countries and the rights of individuals,’’ the Polit Bureau said.

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