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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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.