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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

India hopes to downplay spy scandal with US

New Delhi(Indian Express) July 5:The Government is waiting for the results of police investigations in the National Security Council Secretariat spy case to decide the fate of the high-profile Indo-US Cyber Security Forum (IUSCSF), an initiative announced during the visit of former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in November 2000.

Top Government sources told The Indian Express that since it has now been confirmed that US Embassy official Rosanna Minchew first established contact with NSCN’s systems analyst S S Paul during an IUSCSF programme in March 2005 and had several ‘‘unauthorised’’ meetings with her, the feasibility of the bilateral programme was under review.

So far, three plenary sessions have been held, the last in New Delhi in January. Five working groups have been announced and two more are under consideration.

Paul, according to sources, was a Class I officer moved to the NSCS from the Ministry of Tourism and as Senior System Analyst, was overall incharge of its cyber/computer cell.

The IB did a routine security check of his credentials when he joined the NSCS and then in 2005, after he came in contact with Minchew. The IB put Paul under surveillance for months and has documented several ‘‘unauthorised’’ meetings before his arrest.

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