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.


Monday, May 1, 2017

11200 - Tweet Tweet: UIDAI Claims It Blocks Nobody on Twitter; Critics Disagree - The Wire

Tweet Tweet: UIDAI Claims It Blocks Nobody on Twitter; Critics Disagree


The government agency’s response is troubling, not only because of its disputed accuracy but also because of its implications for larger government-citizen interactions in the digital sphere.


New Delhi: A right to information (RTI) response from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI)  is raising more questions than it answers as several people have come forward to challenge the accuracy of the response.

In the response to an RTI query filed through YouRTI, the UIDAI claims that no Twitter handles are blocked either by @UIDAI or @ceo_uidai. This has touched off fresh controversy as several people have posted screenshots on Twitter alleging that they are still blocked by @ceo_uidai.

For skeptics and critics of Aadhaar, one of the sticking points has been the seeming opaqueness of the system. On Twitter this took a literal turn when several users claimed in February and March that they were blocked by the @UIDAI handle belonging to the Unique Identification Authority of India and @ceo_uidai, the official handle of A. B. P. Pandey, the head of the authority.


Thanks for the block @India_Stack. Is this how people will be blocked from your supposed 'public good' too? pic.twitter.com/87kfzTAOd4

From a DM I came to know UIDAI's CEO is on Twitter. So I searched handle. I assure u I have never interacted with @ceo_uidai. Yet Blocked! pic.twitter.com/4w2jMTl085


Incredible. Within weeks of our raising critical questions on #Aadhaar two public authority handles @ceo_uidai @UIDAI blocked Rethink handle

The initial RTI was filed by YouRTI founder Sushil Kambampati. “We followed up on a question submitted on the portal and filed the RTI query in March,” Kambampati said. “At that time, several people on Twitter had reported being blocked. When we received the response from UIDAI this week, I was curious whether anything had changed. So I reached out to a couple of people who had said they were blocked.”
Several people confirmed that they were still being blocked by @ceo_uidai, even though @UIDAI had stopped blocking them.
@iotakodali I am blocked by @ceo_uidai


If, in fact, @UIDAI or @ceo_uidai are blocking Twitter handles, it raises questions about what social media policies are in effect at UIDAI. In the RTI response, UIDAI did not answer questions related to social media policy, saying instead, “Not Applicable.”
It is also questionable whether such blocking actions are legal or are appropriate. Privacy lawyer Apar Gupta, for instance, has pointed out that this could be unconstitutional. 

Can public authorities block twitter handles due to criticism and questions ? Impacts a citizens ability to receive information.

Have said it once, will say it again. It is unconstitutional for @ceo_uidai and @UIDAI to block people from following them on twitter.
The RTI Act provides for a person to appeal with the Central Information Commission in case she feels that she has been given “incomplete, misleading or false information” under the RTI Act. Kambampati said that they would be filing an appeal to the response because the response was incomplete.
“The responses as to who operates the Twitter handles and what policies led to the blocking of accounts were ‘Not Applicable’. There is no explanation why not,” Kambampati said. “When a response is incomplete, we follow up.”
This is not the first time that UIDAI’s RTI responses have raised further questions. The Twitter handle @no2uid posted an image of a response in which UIDAI did not provide any numerical information about how much Aadhaar had reduced leakages in the [M]NREGA  programme. One of the original purposes of Aadhaar was to prevent leakage and fraud in government subsidy schemes.
#BeyondStageSpeak, Is there a data backed study by banks,about cost savings on @UIDAI @India_Stack in their operations & how much? #MintABC

.@logic @India_Stack Govt reply on RTI on Aadhaar savings. NO figures @uidai @arunjaitley @mint_ed @pvaidy @Stupidosaur Article in wire.in pic.twitter.com/GueDooGNLd

Responses from UIDAI to several RTI queries filed by Scroll.in have also failed to provide basic information such as how many times authentication requests have failed or clear reasons why 85 lakh Aadhaar numbers were deactivated. Another response stated that the UIDAI had no information on the policy for staffing and recruitment of persons for grievance redressal.

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