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Monday, June 24, 2013

Enormous misinformation on data harvesting: Kerry

New Delhi, June 24 -- US Secretary of State John Kerry Monday sought to ally India's concerns on data mining, saying there was enormous amount of misinformation on the issue in his country and the US government was committed to defend civil liberties around the world.

Kerry told reporters at a joint press conference with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid at the Hyderabad House here that data harvesting has helped avert terror acts and saved lives.
 
Contending there was "enormous amount of misinformation" and "enormous amount of misunderstanding" on the issue in the US, Kerry said he would "proudly" defend the civil liberties of the US, India and other countries of the world.
 
"We take painstaking efforts, sometimes at the risk of endangering ourselves to protect the rights of people... This law does not look at content, it does not look at individual e-mails or listen to people's conversations," he said. 
 
"It is a random survey by computers of anybody's phone, there are no names," he said and added that the computer takes random numbers to see if there was any terror linkages. 
 
He said if an adequate link was found, the agencies have to meet a "high standard of law" and matter was taken to a special court judge to ask for permission to take investigation further.
 
He said "evidence" had shown that data harvesting has helped avert terror acts and saved lives.
 
Kerry said the system meets the highest standards of scrutiny and civil liberties.
 
Khurshid said it was important to "make a distinction between getting access to content of communication and studying patterns of communication".
 
He said a "meaningul discussion" took place "briefly" on the issue of data harvesting. 
 
India and the US Monday held the fourth round of their strategic Dialogue. 
 
 
IANS

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