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

Monday, January 16, 2017

10667 - Demonetisation, Aadhaar, and the Great Rural ID Theft - The Quint

Demonetisation, Aadhaar, and the Great Rural ID Theft

Aman Sethi

December 1, 2016, 6:13 pm

For a negligible fee, Manoj Kumar can assist the residents of Dumri Khas, a village not far from the India-Nepal border, fill out 14 different kinds of government forms, certificates and entitlements, all from his ageing desktop computer and battered printer-scanner installed on a rickety wooden desk in the village haat.

Yet since 8 November this year, shops like Kumar’s have caught the attention of digital privacy experts as the weakest link that could unravel Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s controversial decision to demonetise high denomination currency notes to crack down on unaccounted wealth.

Every day thousands of Indians hand over copies of sensitive data like identity cards, birth certificates, and passports, to unsecured and unaccountable private providers. (Photo: Esha Paul/The Quint)

Kumar isn’t a tout, he mans one of the 1,99,325 privately run Common Services Centres (CSCs) set up by the central government to help rural Indians apply online for passports, caste certificates, old age pensions, birth certificates, Aadhaar numbers and bank accounts, without visiting a government office.

“We scan your documents and upload them to the government website,” Kumar said, “Then the department mails you back your card.”

Under the Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana, an Aadhaar card is all you need to open a no-frills account. In 2015-2016, CSCs like Kumar’s generated over 6 crore, largely unaudited, Aadhaar numbers, while printing out Aadhaar cards accounted for the largest number of transactions at CSCs, according to the CSC annual report.

Unwitting Databanks
In the process, CSCs have unwittingly become repositories for the sensitive private data of millions of Indians, which could be used to open and operate untold numbers of Jan Dhan (no-frills) bank accounts to park and launder money through India’s increasingly porous financial system.

Aadhaar cards apart, CSCs are flush with copies all sorts of documents that would be needed to open a fully operational bank account. When The Quint visited, Kumar’s desk was scattered with an assortment of driver licenses, ration cards, and pension applications.

CSCs are gathering confidential data with the aim of financial inclusion, but they are employed by private companies, and so are not accountable. They have the possibility of playing around with the identities of an entire population by sharing this data to anyone who pays for it.

Anupam Saraph, IT Governance Expert, Former Advisor to Government of Goa

Reserve Bank of India circulars, interviews with bank officials, banking correspondents, and news reports indicate that touts have already begun using this information to hijack identities. The absence of adequate protocols has meant that the much-touted biometric security features of the Aadhaar number have been subverted with ease.

A recent report in Deccan Chronicle reveals that brokers in Hyderabad are buying photocopies of identity documents in bulk from CSCs, photocopy shops and establishments that required a copy of a photo id to provide a service. The ids, the newspaper reported, were being used to exchange five hundred and thousand rupee notes for new denominations.

The Jan Dhan Logjam
There are 25.68 crore Jan Dhan bank accounts in India. In the first fortnight after demonetisation was announced, deposits in Jan Dhan accounts increased by a startling Rs 27,198 crore. Banks also opened an additional 16.48 lakh such accounts.
On Wednesday, the RBI tacitly admitted that at least some of the money gushing in through these accounts might be laundered when it issued a circular capping the monthly withdrawals to Rs 10,000 for Jan Dhan accounts with complete Know Your Customer (KYC) documentation, and Rs 5,000 for those with incomplete KYC.

The limits, the RBI said, were introduced, with “a view to protect the innocent farmers and rural account holders of PMJDY from activities of money launderers and legal consequences under the Benami Property Transaction & Money Laundering laws.”