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.

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

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.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

9234 - Supreme Court and Indian Cyberlaw-2015: - Business Stanbdard

A roundup

The Shreya Singhal judgment was historic this year as it upheld the power of government for interception and narrowed down the scope of intermediary liability

Pavan Duggal 
December 31, 2015 Last Updated at 21:15 IST

2015 was the year in which the historical judgment of the Supreme Court was delivered in the case of Shreya Singhal v/s Union of India. The Shreya Singhal judgment was historic this year primarily because of three things.  Firstly, it struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act, 2000 as unconstitutional because the Supreme Court found that the parameters of Section 66A went against the Constitution of India.

It upheld the power of Government for interception and  narrowed down the scope of intermediary liability and said that intermediaries will now act only on order of Court of law or on order of a Governmental agency.  This judgement is definitely historical because it is the first major judgment which has interpreted the constitutional validity of the provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000.  It is also historical because Section 66A was tremendously misused in various cases and Supreme Court found the same to be in violation of peoples’ fundamental rights.   Post this judgment, there has been an increase in incidents of cyber bullying and targeting people on social media because somehow people get a feeling that the law has now been struck off, they have a license to defame.

This judgment has strengthened the hands of the Government for interception.  The challenges to the powers that were granted to the Government have been dismissed and the Government’s power to act in the national interest has been reiterated.

The entire issue of intermediary liability has to be relooked primarily because of the unique nature of the Indian mobile web. A majority of Indian online users only access the Internet through their mobiles and intermediaries become data repositories and therefore there is a need to simplify procedures regarding access of data resident on the computer platforms of the intermediaries.

The ball is actually now in the hands of the Government to amend the Information Technology Act, 2000 to actually not just incorporate the concerns of stakeholders but also to ensure that law becomes a tool for facilitating m-commerce and e-commerce.

There is a need of coming up with distinct legal frameworks which are in sync with the Constitution and which can help to preserve public order in cyberspace.

The year 2015 was a remarkable year inasmuch as it saw how the Indian Courts were redefining, clarifying and dealing with the law pertaining to electronic evidence in India. In the landmark case of Anvar PV v/s PK Basheer, earlier the Supreme Court took hold the opportunity to examine the current state of the law pertaining to electronic evidence and thereafter went ahead to clarify how electronic evidence in India has to be produced and proved in a court of law. The said judgment has universal impact and applicability and has made the entire issue of proof of electronic evidence more cumbersome.

Given the fact that majority of Indians are today only using mobile devices for the purposes of accessing the Internet, it is high time that legal approaches to electronic evidence with specific reference to mobile evidence need to have a relook.

The year 2015 was also remarkable as the debate pertaining to making Aadhaar applicable or mandatory across the board brought its own unique set of challenges. The Supreme Court was crystal clear that Aadhaar doesn't need to be mandatory and that there is a need for more  detailed examination of the privacy and other constitutional issues concerning the use of Aadhar programme.

In the year 2015, the Supreme Court has contributed its bit towards evolving jurisprudence on Cyberlaw and related subjects. The Supreme Court has through its various landmark decisions, decided various aspects which have further helped in the evolution of Cyberlaw jurisprudence in India.

The author Pavan Duggal, Advocate, Supreme Court of India, is Asia’s & India’s leading expert and authority on Cyberlaw & Mobile Law and has been acknowledged as one of the top four cyberlawyers in the world. He can be contacted at his email addresses pavan@pavanduggal.com  and pavanduggal@yahoo.com.  More about the Author is available at www.pavanduggal.com and http://www.linkedin.com/in/pavanduggal.