The UIDAI has taken two successive governments in India and the entire world for a ride. It identifies nothing. It is not unique. The entire UID data has never been verified and audited. The UID cannot be used for governance, financial databases or anything. It’s use is the biggest threat to national security since independence. – Anupam Saraph 2018

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 scholarUsha Ramanathandescribes 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.

August 24, 2017: The nine-judge Constitution Bench rules that right to privacy is “intrinsic to life and liberty”and is inherently protected under the various fundamental freedoms enshrined under Part III of the Indian Constitution

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the World; indeed it's the only thing that ever has"

“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” -Edward Snowden

In the Supreme Court, Meenakshi Arora, one of the senior counsel in the case, compared it to living under a general, perpetual, nation-wide criminal warrant.

Had never thought of it that way, but living in the Aadhaar universe is like living in a prison. All of us are treated like criminals with barely any rights or recourse and gatekeepers have absolute power on you and your life.

Announcing the launch of the#BreakAadhaarChainscampaign, culminating with events in multiple cities on 12th Jan. This is the last opportunity to make your voice heard before the Supreme Court hearings start on 17th Jan 2018. In collaboration with @no2uidand@rozi_roti.

UIDAI's security seems to be founded on four time tested pillars of security idiocy

1) Denial

2) Issue fiats and point finger

3) Shoot messenger

4) Bury head in sand.

God Save India

Thursday, October 29, 2015

9000 - ‘Focus has to be on protecting sensitive data’ - Financial Express

Cheri McGuire of Symantec on cyber security best practices and the need to protect sensitive Aadhaar data

By: Nandagopal Rajan | October 26, 2015 12:11 AM

It is not a question if you are going to be hacked, but when. 

When this statement comes in relation to India’s Aadhaar unique identity system, the largest digital identity database in the world, we better listen. “When we talk about critical information infrastructure it is always about hardware and software, when it is actually only about the data,” says Cheri McGuire, vice-president, Global Government Affairs & Cybersecurity Policy, Symantec, who has seen how countries implement similar systems around the world and helped them protect that data.

“The important thing to remember is that it does not matter which platform or device, as in the end it is about the data. It is really about how the data is protected. You are not getting rid of endpoint protection, you still need those, but the emphasis in on those protecting the core,” explains McGuire who leads global security giant Symantec’s public policy agenda and government engagement strategy that includes cybersecurity, critical infrastructure protection (CIP), and privacy.

She says a broad toolkit will be needed from encryption, multi-factor authentication and data loss prevention technologies that give you visibility across your networks to protect data at this scale. McGuire is impressed that the implementation of Aadhaar is happening very quickly, and thinks some of the lessons learnt by India will help other countries who are looking to implement similar identity management infrastructure.

On whether it is a good idea to have a single number at the core of a lot of services, McGuire says it ultimately depends on culturally what is acceptable. “I do think there are some concerns when you tie everything to a single number as it does open you up a bit more. You have to look more closely at how you intend to protect the unique ID database and ensure that all those personal IDs are encrypted both at rest and transit, and to access things you should be using multi-factor authentication.” Plus she highlights that you need to have modern security software, as “five year old security software only gives you protection from threats that are five years old”.
McGuire says it is important to understand the psychology behind the cyber criminals and the threat landscape. She says the game has changed with nation state, organised crimes groups and hacktivists also becoming a threat along with everyday criminals.

The Symantec official also warns about the insider threat, especially in the context of what has happened in the US with Edward Snowden. “That is where data loss prevention technology is important to be able to segment controls over who has access to what data, keep logs, tag data to see to if something is moving around. The old just-don’t-put-a-pen-drive-in does not work anymore as everything is wireless these days,” she says, underlining how it is also important to train people to be vigilant. Plus, governments are dealing with numerous technologies that can sometimes create additional vulnerabilities, which she says is becoming more complex with the advent of BYOD, IoT, wireless inter-connectivity.

Symantec alone secures a billion IoT devices across the world. “We have a lot of experience in IoT, but also some concerns. There are great devices and applications coming out, but we believe there is a small window available now to ensure security and privacy are built in before it becomes ubiquitous like the Internet. We know the Internet was not built with security in mind and we have an opportunity to change that with IoT.” She adds: “We don’t want to slow innovation, but we also believe the security technology should be engineered into those devices and you are not trying to bolt it on later. It is proven that building technology at the front end is not just easier but also more effective.”
On the smart cities front, McGuire says it is a positive sign that nations are not just blindly going into instituting these “great new things without being mindful of security and privacy”. Symantec believes there must be a global standard so that there is a level playing field for all players.
First Published on October 26, 2015 12:11 am