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


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


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.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

11735 - Aadhaar theft: IIT graduate had done meticulous search of Indian and Chinese govt sites - News Minute

Abhinav was arrested for allegedly illegally stealing data from the UIDAI webiste.

The 31-year-old techie, Abhinav Srivastava, who has been arrested for allegedly illegally accessing Aadhaar data had initially told the police that he had done it just for kicks and to make an extra buck. But according to a report by the Times of India, further questioning has revealed that Abhinav had thoroughly researched the websites of international airports, state governments and the Indian railways as well.

The Bengaluru Cyber Crime Police, studied the four laptops and hard disk seized from Abhinav Srivastava. A preliminary study of these, revealed that he was meticulous in his work, the report adds.
An official in the investigating team told TNM that Abhinav considers himself an ethical hacker. 
“He has meticulously studied the government websites and even the websites of the Chinese government. He has studied how the airline booking system works and also the railway bookings,” the official said.
The officer said that the browser history was blank on all of in Abhinav’s laptops and that the forensic team is in the process of recovering the details. 

“We have approached the internet service providers and have sought the details of the sites he visited and also his online correspondence to ascertain who else is involved in this data theft,” the officer said.

Abhinav was employed with Ola and was arrested on August 1 for allegedly accessing Aadhaar data through the e-hospital server of National Informatics Centre. 

“The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) officials are slated to meet us by Tuesday and after taking their statements, it will be possible to know the impact on the UIDAI server. The team members are tracking down the people who downloaded the app Abhinav created,” the officer said.
Abhinav, who is from Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur, and residing in Yeshvanthpur was employed with Ola in Bengaluru. Ola has stated that it had never commissioned or was involved in such activity.
According to the CCB police, Abhinav had developed a mobile application named Aadhaar e-KYC verification for public download. As per the complaint, "Aadhar related information, which is legally housed by the NIC server was illegally and unauthorised accessed and used to support this mobile application."  
“He had tapped into the server in January and had downloaded data of 50,000 people. He had earned about Rs 40,000 in advertisement revenue through this application. There is suspicion that he has developed several other apps so far and he earned Rs 40,000 from advertisements,” the police added.