US NSA chief on India visit today

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  1. AVERAGE INDIAN

    AVERAGE INDIAN EXORCIST Senior Member

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    NEW DELHI: General Keith Alexander, director of US' now infamous National Security Agency (NSA), will be on a quiet trip to India on Thursday, where he will meet national security adviser (NSA) Shivshankar Menon and other senior officials in the national security establishment. Both American and Indian officials are tight-lipped about the visit, so it is not immediately clear the trip's purpose.

    The embattled general, who also heads US' cyber command, has been in the eye of a global storm after Edward Snowden, a contractor, distributed truckloads of documents around the world which showed the NSA had been snooping on pretty much everybody — from Germany's Angela Merkel to Indonesia's Susilo Yudhoyono and many other leaders in between.

    Alexander has defended the snooping, saying it was imperative for upping the ante against terrorism. Their initial claim that only metadata was scooped up did not stand the Snowden test, whose documents showed real-time spying on foreign leaders' personal phones. A few weeks ago, Alexander was quoted telling a cybersecurity conference, "Catastrophic attacks are in our future ...If we take away the tools we increase the risk and we ought to go into that with our eyes wide open."

    India refused asylum to Snowden because the security establishment here remains deeply suspicious about his China links. Snowden, after fleeing the US, surfaced in Hong Kong. Equally, India has been muted about the entire spying saga, primarily for two reasons. First, there have been no reports of personal spying yet, which could have been a political embarrassment to the Manmohan Singh government. Singh has gone on record to say he does not own a personal cellphone, which could have been tapped. Indian diplomats have said they work everywhere in the world in the belief that their conversations and electronic interactions would be under surveillance.

    Second, India and the US have enhanced intelligence cooperation in recent years, basically a dividend of the massive surveillance that Washington has mounted. Sources said India's success rate in thwarting terror attacks had also increased. India would ideally like the US to work on increasing India's cyber-defence capacity.

    US NSA chief on India visit today - The Times of India
     
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