Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden

The US National Security Agency (NSA) was allowed to spy on India's present ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and the Pakistan People's Party, according to fresh revelations based on documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

In 2010, a US court had permitted the NSA to spy on a number of political organisations across the globe, according to classified documents leaked by the former NSA contractor.

The Washington Post, citing the documents, reported that the spy agency was authorised to carry out surveillance on the BJP along with five other political organisations across the world.

Other political parties in the list are Lebanon's Amal, the Bolivarian Continental Coordinator of Venezuela and the Egyptian National Salvation Front.

"These are the entities about which the NSA may conduct surveillance, for the purpose of gathering foreign intelligence," the newspaper writes.

The US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowed the NSA to carry out surveillance on 193 foreign governments as well as foreign factions and other entities in 2010, according to the documents.

That does not mean the NSA had been targeting all the countries or organisations, rather it had only been given the authority to do so.

"Still, the privacy implications are far-reaching... because of the wide spectrum of people who might be engaged in communication about foreign governments and entities and whose communications might be of interest to the United States," the Post writes.

Snowden received international attention after he leaked up to 1.7 million top secret documents about the NSA's surveillance programmes.

The Obama administration faced severe criticism across the globe as the documents revealed that the NSA tapped telephone conversations and spied on the internet activities of prominent people, including German chancellor Angela Merkel and Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff.

Snowden is wanted by the US on charges of espionage and theft of government property. He is currently staying in Russia.