India to join NSA's eavesdropping program?

India and the U.S. will sign an intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism pact, The Times of India reports as PM Manmohan Singh begins his three-day state visit to Washington on Monday.

Details of the pact are not being disclosed yet, but such was the importance of the agreement that CIA Director Leon Panetta flew down to New Delhi last week to discuss details with his Indian counterparts before the fine print could be drawn up. The agreement could involve exchanging and stationing more intelligence personnel in the two countries, including mobile units, to facilitate better interaction.

The Times describes this as an “intelligence upgrade” involving unspecified ”technical means” supplied by the US.

An unnamed Indian official tells India’s DNA News:

“We are looking at an agreement that could involve exchanging and stationing more intelligence personnel in the two countries. We are also seeking technology to counter terrorism, the National Investigation Agency is looking at US equipment to trace the location of mobile phone calls,” he added.

America’s National Security Agency has an expensive programme that analyses calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity. It has been secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, using data provided by AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth.

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