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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Saturday, December 24, 2016

10624 - Free Net advocates flay Trai's public Wi-Fi paper - Business Standard


Stakeholders vouching for a cheap and open Internet have flagged concerns over privacy and regulatory hurdles
Anita Babu  |  Bengaluru 
November 20, 2016 Last Updated at 00:25 IST


With the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India releasing its consultation paper on public Wi-Fi this week, stakeholders vouching for a cheap and open Internet have flagged concerns over privacy and regulatory hurdles. 

The Internet Freedom Foundation has pointed out that the proposed regulations might lead to invasion of privacy and interfere with the freedom of hotspot providers to operate freely. 

“While we welcome Trai’s vision that increasing the number of public Wi-Fi hotspots could be the way to bringing the majority of Indians online, the proposals turn out to be regressive and poorly thought out,” said Aravind Ravi Sulekha, co-founder of the Internet Freedom Foundation. 

The regulator in its consultation paper issued earlier this week proposed hotspot providers would have to register with the government and users could access hotspots only after paying using a service tied to their Aadhaar number. It wants to utilise Aadhaar, electronic-Know Your Customer (e-KYC) and the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) to build a standard authentication mechanism for access to public Wi-Fi in India. While the aim of Trai is to increase the number of Wi-Fi hotspots in India, proponents of free Internet fear these proposed rules might have a contrary effect. 

Hotspot providers will have to incur costs on account of hardware installations for one-time password verification in addition to the costs of sending out the passwords. This might discourage entrepreneurs. 

“This system of verification makes it harder for entrepreneurs to set up hotspots and for people to access them. It is impossible for broadband to proliferate in any significant way if Trai insists on applying ineffective and cumbersome regulations on those who wish to set up their own hotspots,” Internet Freedom Foundation said in its comments to Trai’s consultation paper.  

The proposals have excluded individuals who do not have an Aadhaar account from accessing public Wi-Fi. “This not only brings concerns of costs and exclusion but also privacy, given the constitutionality of the Aadhaar project, and its government-mandated use, is pending adjudication in the Supreme Court,” the foundation pointed out.

The proposals also come at the cost of anonymity. The foundation, cofounded by the crusaders of last year’s SaveTheInternet campaign, trashed the argument that imposing eKYC norms would help in countering terrorism and other crimes. “This prohibition on anonymous communication is a violation of Indians’ freedom of expression… making a call at a PCO, sending a telegram and posting a letter have always been possible without showing ID — even though criminals and terrorists occasionally abused these services… KYC measures are ineffective in preventing crime and terrorism, as tools like VPNs, TOR, and proxies can easily mask the identity of an Internet user,” it stated.  

“The solution proposed by Trai is a classic example of centralism and over-regulation. It turns out that Trai is unclear about the problem to be solved,” said Pranesh Prakash, policy director at the Centre for Internet and Society. He added that the new proposals had also failed to address the limitations on foreigners or tourists in India. 

Current regulations prevent foreigners without a local mobile number from accessing public Wi-Fi connections. While Trai had identified the problem, it failed to come up with a plausible solution.