Khurshid sees no harm in US 'bug attack' on India

India's external affairs minister Salman Khurshid today defended the vast US telephone and internet surveillance programme, including the bugging of Indian embassies, saying ''it was not snooping''.

"Some of the information they got out of their scrutiny, they were able to use it to prevent serious terrorist attacks in several countries," Khurshid told reporters in Brunei in a broadcast interview.

"This is not scrutiny and access to actual messages. It is only computer analysis of patterns of calls and emails that are being sent... it is not actually snooping on the content of anyone's messages or conversations," he added.

The comments by Khurshid, who met US secretary of state John Kerry in New Delhi in June 2013, contrast with India's initial reaction when a foreign ministry spokesman warned that any privacy violation would be "unacceptable."

The foreign minister is attending an Asian security forum in Brunei, along with Kerry and regional foreign ministers.

Khurshid's bland comments come on the heels of a furious reaction by the European Union and its major member-countries against revelations that the US had bugged more than 30 embassies and diplomatic missions of its allies, including India as well as the European nations.

The vast US surveillance programme of phone logs and internet data revealed by intelligence leaker Edward Snowden have raised a furore in the United States and abroad.