uid

When I opposed Aadhaar in 2010 , I was called a BJP stooge. In 2016 I am still opposing Aadhaar for the same reasons and I am told I am a Congress die hard. No one wants to see why I oppose Aadhaar as it is too difficult. Plus Aadhaar is FREE so why not get one ? Ram Krishnaswamy

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mahatma Gandhi

In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place. Mahatma Gandhi

“The invasion of privacy is of no consequence because privacy is not a fundamental right and has no meaning under Article 21. The right to privacy is not a guaranteed under the constitution, because privacy is not a fundamental right.” Article 21 of the Indian constitution refers to the right to life and liberty -Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi

“There is merit in the complaints. You are unwittingly allowing snooping, harassment and commercial exploitation. The information about an individual obtained by the UIDAI while issuing an Aadhaar card shall not be used for any other purpose, save as above, except as may be directed by a court for the purpose of criminal investigation.” -A three judge bench headed by Justice J Chelameswar said in an interim order.

Legal scholar Usha Ramanathan describes UID as an inverse of sunshine laws like the Right to Information. While the RTI makes the state transparent to the citizen, the UID does the inverse: it makes the citizen transparent to the state, she says.

Good idea gone bad
I have written earlier that UID/Aadhaar was a poorly designed, unreliable and expensive solution to the really good idea of providing national identification for over a billion Indians. My petition contends that UID in its current form violates the right to privacy of a citizen, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. This is because sensitive biometric and demographic information of citizens are with enrolment agencies, registrars and sub-registrars who have no legal liability for any misuse of this data. This petition has opened up the larger discussion on privacy rights for Indians. The current Article 21 interpretation by the Supreme Court was done decades ago, before the advent of internet and today’s technology and all the new privacy challenges that have arisen as a consequence.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP Rajya Sabha

“What is Aadhaar? There is enormous confusion. That Aadhaar will identify people who are entitled for subsidy. No. Aadhaar doesn’t determine who is eligible and who isn’t,” Jairam Ramesh

But Aadhaar has been mythologised during the previous government by its creators into some technology super force that will transform governance in a miraculous manner. I even read an article recently that compared Aadhaar to some revolution and quoted a 1930s historian, Will Durant. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Rajya Sabha MP

“I know you will say that it is not mandatory. But, it is compulsorily mandatorily voluntary,” Jairam Ramesh, Rajya Saba April 2017


Special

Here is what the Parliament Standing Committee on Finance, which examined the draft N I A Bill said.

1. There is no feasibility study of the project]

2. The project was approved in haste

3. The system has far-reaching consequences for national security

4. The project is directionless with no clarity of purpose

5. It is built on unreliable and untested technology

6. The exercise becomes futile in case the project does not continue beyond the present number of 200 million enrolments

7. There is lack of coordination and difference of views between various departments and ministries of government on the project

Quotes

What was said before the elections:

NPR & UID aiding Aliens – Narendra Modi

"I don't agree to Nandan Nilekeni and his madcap (UID) scheme which he is trying to promote," Senior BJP Leader Yashwant Sinha, Sept 2012

"All we have to show for the hundreds of thousands of crore spent on Aadhar is a Congress ticket for Nilekani" Yashwant Sinha.(27/02/2014)

TV Mohandas Pai, former chief financial officer and head of human resources, tweeted: "selling his soul for power; made his money in the company wedded to meritocracy." Money Life Article

Nilekani’s reporting structure is unprecedented in history; he reports directly to the Prime Minister, thus bypassing all checks and balances in government - Home Minister Chidambaram

To refer to Aadhaar as an anti corruption tool despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary is mystifying. That it is now officially a Rs.50,000 Crores solution searching for an explanation is also without any doubt. -- Statement by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, MP & Member, Standing Committee on Finance

Finance minister P Chidambaram’s statement, in an exit interview to this newspaper, that Aadhaar needs to be re-thought completely is probably the last nail in its coffin. :-) Financial Express

The Rural Development Ministry headed by Jairam Ramesh created a road Block and refused to make Aadhaar mandatory for making wage payment to people enrolled under the world’s largest social security scheme NRGA unless all residents are covered.


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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

8934 - Aadhaar encryption protects privacy, will take eons to crack -TNN


Mahendra Singh & Rajeev Deshpande,TNN | Oct 14, 2015, 05.26 AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Aadhaar system's data collection and storage is strongly protected by sophisticated encryption processes to ensure biometric data does not leak either through private contractors running enrollment centres or at the central data servers that store the details. 

The unique identity authority of India's processes are intended to allay fears that biometric data collected by private contractors might be vulnerable to falling in unauthorized hands as the biometric detail is encrypted using the highest available public key cryptography encryption.

Even if the data is stolen or lost the encryption prevents access to the biometrics as it will require the most powerful computers literally eons to crack the code. Similarly at the central data centre, the encryption processes are repeated while storing the details, making attempts to access and use the data very difficult.

The government hopes that the lack of human interface in storing the data and procedures such as data collectors being required to authenticate every entry though their own biometric verification will help convince the Supreme Court that privacy concerns have been addressed by the UIDAI.

The UIDAI programme's success is indicated by lack of any credible complaints or proof of misuse of data since it started the ambitious scheme almost five year ago. This is partly due to the processes that make even loss of a recording machine or copying on a flash drive a futile exercise. 

The data are being collected on software-Enrollment Client (EC) Software-written, maintained and provided by the UIDAI and is encrypted to prevent leaks at the enrollment centres managed by private vendors and in transit. The private agencies on ground use the EC Software which ensures that only authentic and approved person can sign-in for the purpose of enrolling people. 

The enrollment client software used by private vendors strongly encrypts individual electronic files containing demographic and biometric details (enrollment data packets) of residents at the time of enrollment and even before the data is saved in any hard disk.

The encryption uses highest available public key cryptography encryption (PKI-2048 and AES-256) with each data record having a built-in mechanism to detect any tampering. 
The e-data packages are always stored on disk in PKI encrypted form and is never decrypted or modified during transit making it completely inaccessible to any system or person.

Among other security measures, UIDAI has ensured that the Aadhaar database is not linked to any other databases., or to information held in other databases and its only purpose is to verify a person's identity at the point of receiving a service, and that too with the consent of the Aadhaar number holder.