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Why is the US spying on India? 2004 article about CIA spying oprerations on India

Discussion in 'The Big Adda' started by InfoWarrior, Aug 27, 2017.

  1. InfoWarrior

    InfoWarrior Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

    Apr 8, 2017
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    Why is the US spying on India?
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    June 10, 2004 10:39 IST
    The media reported on June 5, the dismissal by the President of retired Major Rabinder Singh, a joint secretary at the Research and Analysis Wing, India's external intelligence agency, under Article 311(2) (c) of the Constitution. This Article enables the President to dismiss any officer of an all-India service without holding a formal departmental enquiry against him if such an enquiry is considered not to be in the national interest. There is no provision for a judicial review of the decision.

    According to media reports, Rabinder Singh, who held charge of the South-East Asia portfolio, has been absconding from his duties for nearly three weeks and is suspected to have fled abroad, most probably to the US, after he came under suspicion of working for US intelligence. It is said the suspicion arose following the recovery of photocopies of some classified documents from his briefcase during a check by RAW security staff as he was leaving office.

    His dismissal under a special provision of the Constitution would seem to have been taken as he was no longer available for a formal enquiry into his alleged act of espionage for a foreign power. The dismissal order is meant more to deter similar acts of espionage by other officers of the intelligence agencies than to repair the damage caused by him to the organisation and the nation.

    Whatever damage he might have caused cannot be set right. One can only prevent a recurrence of such incidents if one draws the right lessons from the case and tightens the loopholes in the internal security system at RAW, which enabled Rabinder Singh to betray the secrets of the organisation to a foreign agency.

    Rabinder Singh is a clean-shaven Sikh, who came on deputation to RAW from the army in the 1980s. He held the rank of major at that time. He did not go back to the army on completion of his deputation. He gave up his lien in the army and chose to be permanently absorbed in RAW as a member of its Research and Analysis Service.

    Throughout his career, he was considered by many of his peers as an average officer. He was poor as an intelligence analyst, but somewhat good as a field operative.

    During his career, he worked as head of the RAW office in Amritsar and subsequently as a field operative in West Asia and West Europe. In Amritsar, his principal task was the collection of trans-border HUMINT (human intelligence) about the Pakistani military and about the training of Sikh terrorists by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence in Pakistani territory. In West Asia, his task was monitoring the activities of terrorist groups there. In West Europe he focused on the activities of Sikh terrorist elements operating there.

    In counter-intelligence, which is the technique of preventing infiltration by moles of foreign intelligence agencies, it is often difiicult to get provable evidence. One has, therefore, to act on suspicion. Article 311 (2) of the Constitution is helpful in such cases. Foreign intelligence agencies have a provision in their service rules called the 'golden handshake.' Under this, they can ease out of the organisation incapable or unreliable or suspicious officers by persuading them to quit in return for handsome monetary compensation. They use this provision quite often to weed out undesirable elements without getting involved in protracted and controversial litigation.

    When RAW was formed in September 1968, R N Kao, its founder, persuaded then prime minister Indira Gandhi to agree to the inclusion of a 'golden handshake' provision in its service rules. It is not clear as to why RAW did not act against Rabinder Singh under the 'golden handshake' provision or Article 311 (2) earlier than it did since his track record was reportedly not impressive.

    It is said there was a question mark over his reliability since the early 1990s when an operation he began for the collection of intelligence about US government activities in South Asia through a sister of his, who was employed in a sensitive US agency with links to the CIA, was found to have been fishy.

    Initially, some good documents came out of this operation, but subsequently, there were grounds for suspicion that the CIA might be using his sister to plant disinformation on the Government of India through him. One such piece of disinformation, which they allegedly tried to feed through this channel in the late 1980s, was that the US embassy in New Delhi had reported to the State Department that the then Chief of the Army Staff was planning a coup against Rajiv Gandhi.

    This is the third detected instance of the penetration of the Indian intelligence by the CIA.

    In the first instance detected in 1986-1987, a senior RAW officer of the rank of director (one rank below joint secretary) belonging to the IPS, posted in Chennai for handling sensitive Sri Lanka operations, was allegedly found to have been working for the CIA.

    During a random surveillance of a suspected CIA officer posted in the US consulate in Chennai, the RAW officer was allegedly discovered to have clandestine contact with the CIA officer and going for morning jogs with him.

    After collecting video-recordings of a series of such clandestine meetings, a joint counter-intelligence team of the Intelligence Bureau and RAW confronted him with the evidence. He reportedly broke down and made a clean breast of it. He was dismissed under Article 311 (2) of the Constitution and jailed in Tihar for a year to serve as a deterrent example to others.

    The second instance detected in 1995-1996 related to a senior officer of the Intelligence Bureau belonging to the IPS, who held a rank equivalent to that of an additional secretary, one level below secretary. He might have risen to be the head of the organisation within a few months if his contacts with the CIA had not been detected. He had served for some years in the ministry of external affairs. He was responsible for internal security and counter-intelligence in the MEA and used to interact with a large number of foreign intelligence officers posted in their diplomatic missions in New Delhi. He also developed social relationship with them.

    After reverting to the IB at the end of his MEA tenure, he reportedly became the head of its counter-intelligence division and was responsible for maintaining a surveillance of all foreign intelligence officers based in New Delhi in order to prevent any attempts by them to penetrate the IB and other government departments.

    It was alleged that unauthorisedly and without the knowledge of the Director, Intelligence Bureau, he continued to maintain his personal and social relationships with the foreign intelligence officers, which he had built up in the MEA.

    Accidentally, the IB's counter-intelligence division reportedly found that a woman CIA officer posted in the US embassy was in contact with government servants and others on a mobile telephone, allegedly registered in the name of their boss, the suspect IB officer. Without alerting him, they brought this to the notice of the director, IB.

    A joint counter-intelligence team of the IB and RAW then kept him under surveillance, collected video-recordings of his clandestine meetings with the CIA officer and then confronted him with the evidence.He reportedly broke down and admitted his contacts with her.

    It was stated that during the investigation it was found that apart from facilitating her operational work by hiring a mobile in his name and giving it to her, he had not betrayed any sensitive secrets. He was reportedly sent on premature retirement and no further action was taken.

    There were two unsuccessful attempts by the CIA to penetrate Indian intelligence.

    In the first instance which took place in the 1980s, a director-level non-IPS RAW officer posted in a West European country, came under pressure from the CIA to work for it. He immediately alerted RAW about it. He was withdrawn and the CIA's plans were thwarted.

    In the second instance, in the early 1990s, a CIA officer posted at the US embassy in New Delhi tried to recruit an IB officer, who immediately reported it to his superiors. They laid a trap for the CIA officer, collected evidence of his misdeeds and ordered him to leave the country.

    Since 1947, India has had a long history of intelligence co-operation relationship with the intelligence agencies of the US and other Western countries as well as with those of the erstwhile USSR, Russia and other East European countries. Underlying all such relationships is an unwritten gentlemen's agreement that the agencies would not take advantage of this relationship to penetrate each other.

    Most intelligence agencies of the world try to observe this, but not the CIA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. They are aggressive and do not care for any dos and don'ts in intelligence cooperation relationships. They do not hesitate to clandestinely penetrate their sister agencies with which they have an official relationship if they get an opportunity to do so.

    The IB has the over-all responsibility for counter-intelligence. It is responsible for the pevention of penetration of its own set-up as well as of other government departments.

    RAW has a counter intelligence and security division, whose responsibility is limited to maintaining internal security and preventing the penetration of the organisation. It performs the security role by keeping a tab on the use of photo-copying machines, scanners, computers with external connections etc, by random door checking of the contents of the briefcases of staff and other methods. It performs the counter intelligence task by monitoring the lifestyles and work habits of its staff and their contacts with outsiders. It has no capability for external surveillance for which it has to depend on the IB's counter intelligence division.

    It is possible, but not certain that it was the IB's counter intelligence division which first rang the alarm bells about Rabinder Singh after noticing a clandestine meeting of his with a suspect CIA officer. If this was not so and if it was RAW, which detected his contacts, it is not known whether it immediately alerted the IB and sought its cooperation in the further investigation as all government departments are expected to do.

    In all intelligence agencies of the world, the head of the counter intelligence division is a hated officer in the organisation because he is perceived as spying on his colleagues and friends. James Angleton, head of the CIA's counter intelligence division during the initial Cold War years, became a detested man because of his aggressive investigative methods and has been spending his sunset years with very few friends from amongst retired intelligence officers. Competent intelligence officers avoid heading the counter intelligence division since they find spying on their colleagues and friends distasteful.

    In 1980, M D Dittia, a police officer of the Delhi cadre, who headed the counter intelligence division at RAW, was gheraoed by lower and middle-level staff who accused him of harassing and humiliating them under the pretext of counter intelligence. They went on strike demanding, inter alia, the abolition of the counter intelligence division. The late N F Suntook, then the chief of RAW, rejected their demands, had the ring-leaders of the strike dismissed under Article 311 (2), got those who instigated the gherao arrested and prosecuted and persuaded Indira Gandhi to have legislation enacted banning strikes in RAW.

    No counter intelligence division can be effective without the cooperation of the colleagues and friends of a suspect mole, who have to alert the division if they notice anything suspicious. Many officers find this distasteful and avoid communicating their suspicions to the counter intelligence division due to an impression that 'gentlemen do not rat on their colleagues and friends.'

    During the first Clinton administration, Aldrich Ames, a well-placed mole of Soviet and Russian intelligence, was detected by the CIA. He was responsible for the deaths of many CIA moles in Moscow, whose identities he had revealed to the Soviet and Russian intelligence services. During the investigation, it was discovered that he was an alcoholic, that he and his wife were given to expensive living, that he was always in heavy debt and that he was in the habit of visiting the Russian embassy in Washington DC, without the knowledge of his superiors.

    A Congressional enquiry found that over a dozen colleagues of his were aware of all these, but refrained from alerting the CIA director or the head of its counter intelligence division about it. They thought that would amount to carrying tales about a colleague and friend, which, in their view, was just not done.

    Such an attitude has to change if counter intelligence has to be effective and penetration by foreign agencies has to be prevented.

    While collecting intelligence about foreign adversaries and terrorists is a highly exciting and glamorous job, which immediately attracts the attention and commendation of organisational and political superiors, collecting intelligence about one's own colleagues and friends can be a terribly boring and to many, distasteful and thankless job, which does not bring the officer to the good notice of his or her superiors. Foreign intelligence agencies take advantage of this mindset in their efforts at successful penetration.
  2. InfoWarrior

    InfoWarrior Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

    Apr 8, 2017
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    US National Security Agency spying on BJP, says Wikileaks report
    A Wikileaks report claims that the US National Security Agency is spying on Bhartiya Janata Party.
    ANI | Posted by Vishakha Saxena
    New Delhi, April 11, 2017 | UPDATED 11:01 IST
    A +A -
    [​IMG]US National Security Agency spying on BJP?
    Global whistleblower agency Wikileaks has claimed that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) is authorised to spy on foreign-based political organizations including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

    In a report, Wikileaks claimed that apart from BJP, NSA is also spying on Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The report even claimed that the NSA has hacked into Pakistan's mobile networking systems.

    "Hundreds of NSA cyber weapons variants publicly released including code showing hacking of Pakistan mobile system," Wikileaks tweeted. Wikileaks shared a link in the tweet which pointed to a Github repository containing the decrypted files pertaining to NSA cyber weapons.

    This is not the first time that reports of NSA spying on other countries has surfaced.

    According to the Express Tribune, a classified document revealed that US spy agency NSA had been sanctioned to spy on most countries and some international bodies and political parties under the FISA court certification.

    The Washington Post report said that under a 2010 certification approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA), NSA had the permission to spy on 193 foreign governments and foreign factions, political organisations and other entities.

    While Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand remained same from NSA's spying program following the US' no-spying arrangements with the four countries, two factions of foreign nations Palestinian Authority; Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on NSA's radar was also spied on.

    Moreover, the NSA was also authorised to spy on international bodies such as the UN, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank and many others.
  3. InfoWarrior

    InfoWarrior Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

    Apr 8, 2017
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    India among top targets of spying by NSA
    [​IMG] Glenn Greenwald [​IMG] Shobhan Saxena
    RIO DE JANEIRO:, September 23, 2013 03:15 IST
    Updated: June 04, 2016 13:03 IST

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    In the overall list of countries spied on by NSA programs, India stands at fifth place, with billions of pieces of information plucked from its telephone and internet networks just in 30 days. File Photo: AP | Photo Credit: Rainer Jensen

    Snowden’s files show billions of pieces of phone & internet data plucked
    Among the BRICS group of emerging nations, which featured quite high on the list of countries targeted by the secret surveillance programs of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) for collecting telephone data and internet records, India was the number one target of snooping by the American agency.

    In the overall list of countries spied on by NSA programs, India stands at fifth place, with billions of pieces of information plucked from its telephone and internet networks just in 30 days.

    According to top-secret documents provided to The Hindu by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the American agency carried out intelligence gathering activities in India using at least two major programs: the first one is Boundless Informant, a data-mining system which keeps track of how many calls and emails are collected by the security agency; and the second one is PRISM, a program which intercepts and collects actual content from the networks. While Boundless Informant was used for monitoring telephone calls and access to the internet in India, PRISM collected information about certain specific issues — not related to terrorism — through Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Apple, YouTube and several other web-based services.

    Asked by The Hindu why a friendly country like India was subjected to so much surveillance by the U.S., a spokesman of the U.S. government’s Office of the Director of National Intelligence said: “The U.S. government will respond through diplomatic channels to our partners and allies. While we are not going to comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity, as a matter of policy we have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations. We value our cooperation with all countries on issues of mutual concern.”The DNI spokesman chose not to respond to questions about how the NSA managed to pick so much data from India — 13.5 billion pieces of information in just one month — especially from its telephone networks, and about whether it had received the cooperation of Indian telecom companies.

    Though top Indian officials have been rather dismissive of the disclosures, with Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid even defending the U.S. surveillance program by saying that “it is not… actually snooping,” the NSA documents obtained by The Hindu show that Boundless Informant not only keeps track of emails and calls collected by the NSA, it is also used by the agency to give its managers summaries of the intelligence it gathers worldwide, thus making it the foundation of the global surveillance programs created by the world’s biggest and most secretive intelligence agency.

    This SIGINT (signal intelligence) system collects electronic surveillance program records or internet data (DNI) and telephone call metadata records (DNR), which is all stored in an NSA archive called GM-PLACE.

    Boundless Informant summarises data records from 504 separate DNR and DNI collection sources called SIGADs, the documents show.

    Collection of metadata is serious business. Several Information Technology experts The Hindu spoke to said a detailed account of an individual’s private and professional life can be constructed from metadata, which is actually the record of phone number of every caller and recipient; the unique serial number of the phones involved; the time and duration of each phone call; and potentially the location of each caller and recipient at the time of the call. The same applies to e-mails and other Internet activities of an individual. The high volume of metadata taken from India — 6.2 billion in just one month — means that the U.S. agency collected information on millions of calls, messages and emails every day within India, or between India and a foreign country.

    The information collected is part of a bigger surveillance system.

    According to a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) memo, an “Unclassified” and “For Official Use Only” document which has been obtained by The Hindu, Boundless Informant is a tool of the NSA’s Global Access Operations (GAO), whose motto is “The Mission Never Sleeps,” for a self-documenting SIGINT system. The tool, says the FAQs memo, “provides the ability to dynamically describe GAO’s collection capabilities (through metadata record counts) with no human intervention and graphically display the information in a map view, bar chart, or simple table”. The memo even describes how “by extracting information from every DNI and DNR metadata record, the tool is able to create a near real-time snapshot of GAO’s collection capability at any given moment.”

    It’s the maps, which provide snapshots of the Boundless Informant data that actually show how intensely India was targeted by the NSA. As per one “global heat map” seen by The Hindu, just in March 2013, the U.S. agency collected 6.3 billion pieces of information from the Internet network in India. Another NSA heat map shows that the American agency collected 6.2 billion pieces of information from the country’s telephone networks during the same period.

    Three “global heat maps,” which give each country a colour code based on how extensively it was subjected to NSA surveillance, clearly show that India was one of the hottest targets for U.S. intelligence. With the colour scheme ranging from green (least subjected to surveillance) through yellow and orange to red (most surveillance), the heat maps show India in the shades of deep orange and red even as fellow BRICS nations like Brazil, Russia and China — all monitored extensively — sit in green or yellow zones.

    In the first heat map, showing the aggregate of data tracked by Boundless Informant in March 2013, with 14 billion reports, Iran was the country where the largest amount of intelligence was gathered. It’s followed by 13.5 billion from Pakistan. Jordan came third with 12.7 billion, Egypt fourth with 7.6 billion, and India fifth with 6.3 billion.

    In the heat map that gives the overview of internet surveillance (DNI), with 6.3 billion pieces of intelligence taken from its networks, India is placed between Iran and Pakistan (both red) and China and the U.S. (both light orange). Both Brazil and Russia are coded in light green in this map, while China is shown in light orange.

    In the third heat map, depicting collection of telephone records (DNR), India is shown in deep orange, with 6.2 billion pieces of information plucked from its telephone networks. In the case of DNR collection, India is the only BRICS country to share the same colour as the other highly-monitored countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Venezuela; the other four emerging nations are in the green zone in this map.

    Though India raised the issue of NSA surveillance when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited New Delhi on June 24 to take part in the India-U.S. Strategic Dialogue, New Delhi seemed to have bought the official American version of the story. “We had an issue, which was discussed when Secretary Kerry was in India,” Mr. Khurshid had said on July 2. “He [Mr. Kerry] made a very clear explanation that no content has been sought or received of any email… So, I think as far as we are concerned, there is no issue today,” the Indian minister had said.

    It’s true that Boundless Informant doesn’t intercept content, but the top-secret documents obtained by The Hindu show that this internal NSA tool focusses on counting and categorising the telephone calls and Internet records as well as on storing and retrieving it, which could give intelligence-gathering agents the records of calls and message times, identities, addresses and other information needed to track people or pick content.

    Because this metadata is machine-readable, and therefore searchable, it makes intensive surveillance possible as the record of a person’s email logs, phone records and clickstream — all the websites visited ever — are available to NSA agents, without a warrant or court order. Citizen’s rights groups see it as a serious violation of people’s privacy and personal data. “By accessing metadata, you can learn an awful lot about an individual. With mobile phones, location data has now been added to metadata. With the Internet, you can in addition understand someone’s location in a social network in much more detail, as well as understand how that network relates to other networks. If you put all of this together, you get quite a detailed map of someone’s movements, who they hang out and what drives their lives,” said Anja Kovacs, project director at Internet Democracy Project, a New Delhi-based group working for online freedom of speech.

    In a recent example of how metadata can be misused by the government, a couple of Associated Press reporters were subpoenaed by the U.S. Justice Department in a case involving a national security issue. The journalists were sent notices after the department procured the details of their calls with their sources, sparking a conflict between the media and the White House over press freedom.
  4. InfoWarrior

    InfoWarrior Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

    Apr 8, 2017
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    After going through many Intelligence reports, I think India was allowed to be a nuclear state to check China.

    India 1992
    In 1992, the US State Department threatened to impose economic sanctions on India after it refused permission for US sleuths to go on an aerial-photography mission along the Sino-Indian border.

    Raman's opening salvo is fired at the US State Department, which was much hated in R&AW during his 26-year tenure. One State Department official may have passed on to Pakistan Indian intelligence reports on Khalistani terrorists that New Delhi had shared with Washington. In 1992, the State Department threatened to impose economic sanctions on India after it refused permission f
    or US sleuths to go on an aerial-photography mission along the Sino-Indian border. In 1994, it warned New Delhi that if R&AW did not halt covert missions in Pakistan, the United States would "act against India"

    Between 1969 and 1971, clandestine units of R&AW disrupted Chinese-backed Naga and Mizo insurgent traffic, sanctuaries and infrastructure in Myanmar and East Pakistan. The Richard Nixon administration in Washington initiated a joint program with Islamabad to hit back at India by encouraging a separatist movement among the Sikhs of Punjab. The US National Security Council, led by Henry Kissinger, sponsored allegations in the press and public forums of violations of Sikhs' human rights. US interest in the Khalistan insurgency remained firm up to 1984.

    Intriguingly, R&AW and the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) simultaneously colluded to prevent a possible Chinese takeover of northern Burma. George H W Bush, the director of the CIA from 1975-77, became a personal friend of Kao. Later, when Bush was US vice president, Kao succeeded in persuading him to turn off the aid tap to Khalistani terrorists. Raman comments here that "benevolence and malevolence go side by side in relations between intelligence agencies" (p 42).

    nik141993 and Golden_Rule like this.

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