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 22, 2017

11446 - India’s broad digital brush not enough to replace babudom - Indian Express

By Archana Dalmia  |   Published: 21st May 2017 04:00 AM  |  
Last Updated: 20th May 2017 10:40 PM  |   A+A A-   |
  
It was a rather disturbing discovery when a friend of mine happened to let it slip over one of our afternoon soirees that her husband had two Aadhaar cards. One was made in Kolkata and the other in Delhi. 

Apparently, he had a small accident, his driving licence was not made in Delhi to make matters worse. To avoid matters going south, he slipped the cop some money and then trotted off to get a Delhi licence made. 

However, the story does not end there. He was told that for a Delhi licence he needed to get a government-recognised proof of residence in the capital. After a few phone calls to ‘significant people in power’, another Aadhaar card was generated.

It’s that easy! Another case that comes to mind is that of one P V Narayanan, a resident of Kerala, who received two Aadhaar cards issued by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). Sure, he used different pictures on either card, but how did he managed to dodge the finger printing machine? That’s our ‘robust’ de-duplication test of UIDAI! The reason cited by Moneylife is that the sample size was too small—20,000 people—for our population. 

Given our 1.3 billion people, electronic data is not entirely reliable. The dream of going digital appears moot, whether it is our banks, our UID or EVMs. All the fancy machines in the world cannot replace good old ‘babudom’—in other words, the great Indian paper trail. 

The recent upheaval over the EVMs is just a single case in point. According to news reports over the latest developments in the EVM skirmish, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed Chief Secretary M M Kutty to write to the State Election Commissioner asking him to hold the upcoming municipal elections through ballot papers.

This comes after Mayawati cried foul over the dismal performance of the BSP in Uttar Pradesh polls. She alleged that the elections were rigged and  EVMs tampered. 

For the sake of argument, let us say that the objections to the EVMs raised by Mayawati and Kejriwal are slightly biased, given that both their parties had a poor show in the Assembly elections. Let us consider the neutral comments of Poorvi L Vora, professor of computer science at George Washington University: “Generally speaking, in any computer software or hardware, there is the possibility of the individual modules being changed without detection, or being erroneous.” Computer chips may be replaced without detection and can be tampered with. This is seen as a problem not just in India, but even abroad. 

Moving on to our banks, it was only recently that everyone got scared post the ATM debit card scam. Reports have it that money was withdrawn within a span of few hours in two separate time periods from across several continents! No travel is fast enough for a person to be in different continents to swipe the same card.


It was a clear case of malfunctioning systems where the data is compromised to a third party. Currently, it may be safer to stand in a queue and encash a self-cheque, rather than withdraw from ATMs—banks are in fact reducing the ATM withdrawal limit.