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.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

11436 - UIDAI puts posers to CIS over Aadhaar data leak claim -

The UIDAI also wants CIS to clarify just how much of such "sensitive data" are still with it or anyone else.


By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:May 19, 2017 9:54 am

Meanwhile, the UIDAI has quoted sections of the Information Technology Act, 2000, and the Aadhaar Act to emphasise that violation of the clauses are punishable with rigorous imprisonment of up to 10 years. (Representational)

Aadhaar-issuing authority UIDAI has asked research firm Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) to explain its sensational claim that 13 crore Aadhaar numbers were “leaked” and provide details of servers where they are stored. In a precursor to initiating a probe into the matter, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) also wants CIS to clarify just how much of such “sensitive data” are still with it or anyone else. The UIDAI — which has vehemently denied any breach of its database — shot off a letter to CIS yesterday asking for the details, including the servers where the downloaded “sensitive data” are residing and information about usage or sharing of such data.

Underscoring the importance of bringing to justice those involved in “hacking such sensitive information”, the UIDAI sought CIS’ “assistance” in this regard and has given it time till May 30 to revert on the issue. “Your report mentions 13 crore people’s data have been leaked. Please specify how much (of) this data have been downloaded by you or are in your possession, or in the possession of any other persons that you know,” the UIDAI said in its communication to CIS.
Interestingly, in what market watchers described as an apparent flip-flop, CIS has now clarified that there was no leak’ or ‘breach’ of Aadhaar numbers, but rather ‘public disclosure’. Meanwhile, the UIDAI has quoted sections of the Information Technology Act, 2000, and the Aadhaar Act to emphasise that violation of the clauses are punishable with rigorous imprisonment of up to 10 years. “While your report suggests that there is a need to strengthen IT security of the government websites, it is also important that persons involved in hacking such sensitive information are brought to justice for which your assistance is required under the law,” it said.

The UIDAI has also sought technical details on how access was gained for the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP) site — one of the four portals where the alleged leak happened. When contacted, UIDAI CEO Ajay Bhushan Pandey said, “We do not comment on individual matters.” The UIDAI has also asked for details of systems that were involved in downloading and storing of the sensitive data so that forensic examination of such machines can be conducted to assess the quantum and extent of damage to privacy of data.

The UIDAI letter comes after a CIS’ report early this month which claimed that Aadhaar numbers and personal information of as many as 135 million Indians could have been leaked from four government portals due to lack of IT security practices. “Based on the numbers available on the websites looked at, estimated number of Aadhaar numbers leaked through these four portals could be around 130-135 million,” the report had said.

However, in a apparent course correction on May 16, a day before the UIDAI’s letter went out — CIS updated its report and clarified that although the term ‘leak’ was originally used 22 times in its report, it is “best characterised as an illegal data disclosure or publication and not a breach or a leak”. CIS has also claimed that some of its findings were “misunderstood or misinterpreted” by the media, and that it never suggested that the biometric database had been breached.

“We completely agree with both Dr Pandey (UIDAI CEO) and Sharma (Trai Chairman R S Sharma) that CIDR (Aadhaar central repository) has not been breached, nor is it suggested anywhere in the report,” CIS said in its latest update.

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