Aadhaar

The UIDAI has taken two successive governments in India and the entire world for a ride. It identifies nothing. It is not unique. The entire UID data has never been verified and audited. The UID cannot be used for governance, financial databases or anything. It’s use is the biggest threat to national security since independence. – Anupam Saraph 2018

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 scholarUsha Ramanathandescribes 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

In the Supreme Court, Meenakshi Arora, one of the senior counsel in the case, compared it to living under a general, perpetual, nation-wide criminal warrant.

Had never thought of it that way, but living in the Aadhaar universe is like living in a prison. All of us are treated like criminals with barely any rights or recourse and gatekeepers have absolute power on you and your life.

Announcing the launch of the#BreakAadhaarChainscampaign, culminating with events in multiple cities on 12th Jan. This is the last opportunity to make your voice heard before the Supreme Court hearings start on 17th Jan 2018. In collaboration with @no2uidand@rozi_roti.

UIDAI's security seems to be founded on four time tested pillars of security idiocy

1) Denial

2) Issue fiats and point finger

3) Shoot messenger

4) Bury head in sand.

God Save India

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

13424 - Aadhaar data leaks: Andhra govt begins audit of department websites - The News Minute

The AP Cyber Security Operations Centre based in Visakhapatnam has started inspection of various government websites.

Days after an independent researcher highlighted cases of Aadhaar details of citizens that were leaked online, the Andhra Pradesh government has started remedial measures.
According to reports, the AP Cyber Security Operations Centre (Cyber SOC) based in Visakhapatnam has taken over various government websites for inspection.

“We have started the AP Cyber Security Operations Centre to sanitise and monitor all the websites of the various government departments. All the departments are now submitting their website details and we are sanitising backend servers. Cyber SOC has taken over all the AP government websites and we are doing an audit and inspection to find out how secure the data is, where it is stored and how to protect it better. It will take about a week to complete the operation,” IT Minister Nara Lokesh was quoted as saying.

The leaks
Less than a week ago, whistleblower Srinivas Kodali had said that the Aadhaar data of at least 1.34 lakh citizens in the state was compromised, along with other details like their religion, caste and bank details.

The names were part of a list titled ‘Beneficiary Details belonging to Entry Report for Scheme Hudhud’ and were available on the website of the Andhra Pradesh State Housing Corporation. The details made it easy to ‘profile’ the citizens, which was in contradiction of the Unique Identification Authority of India's (UIDAI) stand that it does not link such details with the Aadhaar number.

A day later, Srinivas put out screenshots that suggested that the Unique Identity Number (UID) numbers of 89,38,138 MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) beneficiaries had been compromised on the website of the Andhra Pradesh Benefit Disbursement Portal.
On April 28, Srinivas claimed that the Aadhaar data of 69,83,048 children was exposed online from the website of the Andhra Pradesh Commissionerate of school education.
On April 30, he tweeted that the Aadhaar numbers of 20,71,913 pregnant women and recent mothers during the period of from 2015-2018 had been published.

“While the government has legitimate interest in collecting this data for helping track mortality rates, the linking with Aadhaar and sharing is bad,” he had explained at the time.

Is Andhra more prone to leaks?
Speaking to TNM, Srinivas pointed out that Andhra Pradesh had been one of the first states to introduce Aadhaar along with Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

“In fact, a lot of details were collected before the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act in 2016, and being a technologically advanced state, Andhra Pradesh made sure that there was 100% linking and seeding,” Srinivas said.
“When more data is collected, there will be more leaks as we can’t be sure who has access to the information. Aadhaar data is such that it can be demanded by design,” he added.
Srinivas points out that several companies collect Aadhaar details under the garb of Know your Customer (KYC).
“Several private companies now ask for the data and store it, they could even be linking it with your internet searches or your location. Say two large companies decide to go ahead with a merger. They will merge all these data sets too, and more people will now have access to that information,” he explained.
“UIDAI says Aadhaar is privacy by design, but it is actually leaky by design,” he added.

Even as the debate rages on, the state government has reportedly made Aadhaar a must for visitors to the state’s Secretariat in Amaravati. In an order issued by the General Administration Department, the security personnel were asked to only accept Aadhaar as ID to issue passes.

UIDAI still silent
UIDAI, however, is yet to respond on the matter.
“That’s how their business model works. They force everyone to register and then generate more income as broker charges for APIs, and everyone makes money in that particular ecosystem,” Srinivas claims. 

He also alleged that the Andhra Pradesh government violated the 2013 Act and continues to do so.

“Andhra Pradesh is just an example of what could happen if your data is not protected. The entire country may follow suit soon,” he added.


TNM has reached out to UIDAI for a response and this story will be updated if and when they do.