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

11447 - [Weekend wrap] Security is a myth, they can come for you anywhere - Your Story.Com

The name of this week’s new ransomware attack in the cyber world is not lost on anybody. One does ‘wanna cry’ in the case of such grave theft.


The malicious hackers must have given out an evil laugh when they used something known as a ‘Wanna Decryptor’—a variant of the WannaCry ransomware, which encrypts data, locks one out of their system and demands a ransom to release it.
Termed the ‘atom bomb’ of cyber crimes, this new ransomware attack claimed more than 200,000 victims in 150 countries, including India.
The week also saw a data breach on food and restaurant search platform Zomato. Its 17 million user records, including email IDs and hashed passwords, were compromised from its database, and reportedly sold on the dark web where all sorts of nefarious activities go on. The company assured users that no payment information or credit card data were stolen in this leak.

Data security is an important aspect in today’s digital world. Yet, in India especially, we are so blasé about it even as we make purchases online using our credit cards or our mobile phones. The other day, I lost my house keys and was close to seeking police help. But it has been more than two months since the anti-virus software has expired on my laptop and I continue typing nonchalantly.


Which brings me to the security debate that is raging nationwide around Aadhaar and its implementation. The Aadhaar project by the UIDAI provides for a unique identity number for every Indian by storing their biometric details.
While there’s a group that believes the unique identification number empowers the people, opponents point out that there will be no stopping the state from becoming the Big Brother. 

The main cause for concern being the privacy issue.

We at YourStory have initiated the Aadhaar Debate so that we can have more discussions and conversations around this contentious issue. Whether you are pro- or anti-Aadhaar, come out with your data points in support of your theory and we will publish it here. You can write to dipti@yourstory.com.

In an unrelated case, a similar kind of battle lines is being drawn between the cab aggregator apps in the country–one desi and one videsi. In her in-depth article this week, titled, Is India going to be the battleground for global cab aggregators, Sindhu Kashyap, uncovers that India’s free market and a steady growth despite supply crunch has positioned it to host the battle of the cabs. Read the story here.


Image credit: Aditya Ranade
The other big news of the week was SoftBank’s $1.4 billion funding to Unicorn Paytm. Tarush Bhalla, who covers everything fintech, says in the report that “the funds raised were at a valuation of around $8 billion.” The news comes just a day after Paytm Payment Bank announced the launch of their operations from May 23.
Tarush is excited about the possibilities the events present and is working on different angles to bring insightful analysis on the subject.
Paytm was not the only one to have raised funding. There were many others this week. Find out which other fintech startups attracted investor attention here.
We will also have some exciting stories from the stables of Flipkart and Amazon, so stay tuned here as the new week promises to be storylicious.
Till next Sunday then.


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