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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

11409 - Wannacry ransomware attack: How safe are Aadhaar cards, banks or even ATMs? - Financial Express

Microsoft, quoted by BBC, said that the recent cyber attack that has hit over 150 countries in the last week should be considered as a "wake-up call".

By: FE Online | Published: May 15, 2017 11:58 AM

“Since the user’s bank account is linked with his Aadhaar number, the ransomware can potentially lock down the account and make it unusable unless a ransom is paid,” (Image courtesy: Reuters)

Microsoft, quoted by BBC, said that the recent cyber attack that has hit over 150 countries in the last week should be considered as a “wake-up call”. The multi-billion tech giant said that widespread damage had been caused by the software vulnerabilities that have been hoarded by the various governments over the years. The virus used in the process finds and exploits a flaw in one of the versions of Microsoft Windows, something that was first detected by US intelligence. The concern is that experts have predicted bigger attacks on Monday. According to BBC, the virus slowed down during the weekends but still managed to affect more than 2,00,000 computer systems.

Ransomware can be defined as a software (virus), designed with the intent to block the access to any computer system, holding the owner to ransom till the demanded sum of money is paid. The said virus that affected more than 150 countries over the week, is said to have demanded $300 as payment to restore the user’s access to his own computer. Ransomware normally holds the computer in a hostage system, encrypts all your data and prevents all your apps and other software from running. 

Indian Express reports, that a crypto-ransomware, called WannaCry or WannaCrypt was used to affect various countries, including India on Friday. Like the name Ransomware suggests, The WannaCrypt0r 2.0 bug encrypted all the data within a computer system, putting it under a virtual lockdown and asked the user to pay the said amount by a message on the screen. The ransom amount was $300 in Bitcoins. The hacker group that did this, remains a mystery so far. It is, however, believed that the hackers used America’s National Security Agency (NSA) created “Eternal Blue Hacking Weapon” to take over computers used by terrorist outfits. It must, however, be noted that this programme could only hack into computers dependent on the Microsoft Windows operating system. According to IE, what is interesting is that the programme had been stolen from the NSA by a group that called itself Shadow Broker. The reason, it seemed, that they were unhappy with the US President Donald Trump.

Who stopped the attacks?
The viral attack was stopped by an accidental samaritan, who wanted to be identified only as MalwareTech. MalwareTech is a security researcher, who found the security switch in the form of a link to a domain name. What he then did, was buy the domain name for $10.69, triggering thousands of pings from infected systems and killing the malware. The targets of this ransomware were devices that ran on some form of Microsoft Windows.

How safe are banks and or Aadhar Card info?
Microsoft claims that in March, it had released a security update to counter these exposed vulnerabilities and had urged the users to update their systems. However, in India, for most computers users, regular updates is not a habit. So a user can start by updating the system. Secondly, users have been cautioned against opening attachments that they do not trust. Users have been advised not to click on links that they did not trust to stop the download of software from unknown, unverified sources.

It must also be noted that a majority of ATMs, all over the country run on the outdated Windows XP. Now, while the company claims to have provided updates to check the said malware, it had stopped providing any updates for the Windows XP system in 2014, thus putting the machines at a higher risk.

According to the Pradipto Chakrabarty, Regional Director, CompTIA India, who was quoted by IE, the linking if Aadhar card to bank accounts, income tax and other information increased the threat at the surface. “Since the user’s bank account is linked with his Aadhaar number, the ransomware can potentially lock down the account and make it unusable unless a ransom is paid,” Chakrabarty warned.

A report, attributed to F-Secure states the need for a four-phase approach to this threat: Predict, Prevent, Detect, and Respond. 

The user should predict the attack by performing an exposure analysis if his system. He could then prevent the attack using the deployment of a defensive tactic, like the one Microsoft had released earlier. In case the attack has already taken place, the user could respond by trying to understand how the hacking took place and detect by looking for the signs of where the intrusion took place and suspicious behaviour.