India calls for transparency in internet surveillance

India has called for transparency and accountability in internet security surveillance and for striking balance between human rights and national security.

The global community needs “to create frameworks so that internet surveillance practices motivated by security concerns are conducted within a truly transparent and accountable framework”, Santosh Jha, external affairs ministry director general, told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

There has to be a “better protection of all citizens in the online environment and strike an ideal balance between national security and internationally recognised human rights”, he said at a review on implementing the recommendations of the World Summit on Information Society.

Even as Jha spoke, disclosures emerged from WikiLeaks that the US National Security Agency had monitored telephone calls for senior German officials, including the finance minister.

Earlier reports said German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande and his two predecessors had also been under NSA telephone surveillance.

A British intelligence agency also had eavesdropped on German officials, Wikileaks reports showed.

Expressing “strong affirmation of the principles of net neutrality”, Jha said the internet should be recognised “as a global public good, where all stakeholders have an equal stake in its functioning and efficiency”.


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