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India’s prime minister is almost impossible to spy on

His strategy? Just completely avoid 21st century technology.


Cody Permenter


At least one world leader isn’t afraid of being spied on by the U.S. His strategy? Just completely avoid 21st century technology. 

Amid new revelations from intelligence leaker Edward Snowden that the National Security Agency has spied on 35 world leaders, a spokesman for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the prime minister is not concerned. 

“The prime minister doesn’t use a mobile phone and he doesn’t have an email account,” the spokesman said. 

“His office uses email, but he has no personal email… We have no information and no cause for concern,” he added. 

After learning that the U.S. might have been spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone, Merkel called President Obama last week and warned that such spying would be “completely unacceptable.”

The White House denied earlier this week that the U.S. has been tapping the German leader’s phone. But German news magazine Der Spiegel claimed Sunday the U.S. bugged Merkel’s phone for 10 years, starting in 2002. And the biggest rally in opposition to NSA spying was held this weekend in Washington, D.C., with thousands in attendance. 

Other leaders have taken offense to Snowden’s accusations that the U.S. is personally spying on them. Snowden revealed earlier this year that the NSA spied on Brazilians’ emails and phone records, on its president, Dilma Rousseff, and on its main oil company, Petrobras.

Rousseff called this “an inadmissible and unacceptable violation of Brazilian sovereignty” and later announced the creation of a secure email system for the Brazilian federal government. 

Singh’s strategy closely resembles Reddit‘s strategy for avoiding NSA spying: Just don’t collect the information they want. In this case, the 81-year-old politician goes old school and completely avoids the technology that U.S. spying programs use to retrieve information.

As trust continues to crumble between world leaders and awareness is heightened on advanced spying capabilities, will this become a new strategy for politicians seeking privacy?  

Image via GovernmentZA/Flickr

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