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

Sunday, May 20, 2018

13551 - Serious concerns over Aadhaar data collection: Ex-US State Department official - News Minute


Jared Cohen is currently the CEO and Founder of Jigsaw, a Google arm started to tackle threats to online security.
  • IANS
    Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 13:12 


VS Chandrasekar

There are serious concerns about the collection of biometric data for Aadhaar cards in India and these must be allayed, a former State Department official who is considered an expert on social media and cyber-crime issues has stressed.

"I don't want to meddle in India's politics. But there are concerns (about collection of personal details for Aadhaar card)," Jared Cohen told IANS on the sidelines of the third annual BCTECH Summit here.

Cohen is currently the CEO and Founder of Jigsaw, a Google arm started to tackle threats to online security.

He conceded there are arguments on the merits of the Aadhaar system but there are also concerns that must be addressed.
Cohen did not want to comment on the case before the Supreme Court, whose constitution bench has reserved judgement in the PIL which wants removal of the mandatory requirement of Aadhaar for enjoying benefits of government services and for opening of bank accounts and buying telephone services, among others.

The petitioners have also expressed concerns over the personal details of crores of card holders being accessed by unauthorised parties.

When asked what he expected from the Supreme Court judgement, Cohen repeated: "I don't want to meddle in India's politics."

Cohen was one of the members of policy planning staff of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He played a role in helping shape counter-radicalisation strategies and advised on US policy towards Iran and the Middle East.

Beginning in April 2009, Cohen aided delegations focused on connecting technology executives with local stakeholders in Iraq, Russia, Mexico, Congo, and Syria. He had also worked with another US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.

In the midst of the June 2009 protests in Iran, Cohen sought to support the opposition in Iran. He contacted Twitter, requesting that the company not perform planned maintenance that would have temporarily shut down service in Iran, because the protestors were using Twitter to maintain contact with the outside world.

According to Ryan Lizza from The New Yorker, "The move violated Obama's rule of non-interference and White House officials were furious." In an interview with Clinton, she "did not betray any disagreement with the President over Iran policy," but "cited Cohen's move with pride."

While serving on the policy planning staff, Cohen became an advisor to Richard Holbrooke, who was the first Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He took several trips with Holbrooke to Afghanistan, where he helped develop some of the early strategic communications strategies.
Cohen, 36, was among the early adopters of social media in the US government. In April 2010, he had the third largest number of Twitter followers in the US government, behind Barack Obama and Senator John McCain.

Earlier, speaking at the plenary session of the summit which began on Tuesday, Cohen said it was difficult to produce technology solution for more than 10 years with any certitude.
But what he observed was that change and innovation happens earlier and faster than expected. "We are constantly surprised at what innovation can do," he told the gathering.

Participating in a session titled "The New Digital Age Transforming Businesses", he said data was the most valuable man-made resources but cyber crimes were growing.
Cohen described fake news as one of the many disinformation campaign to influence people accompanied by cyber-bullying and patriotic trolling with government funding.

There are 194 countries actually attacking each other on a daily basis which includes corporate espionage. "Information security breaches happen in real time before you can realise. This is something states have to recognise and tackle. It is the challenge on the horizon."

Speaking at the opening session, Anthony Salacito, Vice President, Education at Microsoft, said that teachers do not have to rethink about their role because of evolving technology.
"Actually, it is the reverse. It is the recongition that education is the engine of development and learning has changed. The students' generation today is called digital and the workplace has changed," he noted.

Salacito said Artificial Intelligence (AI) can play a role in every field.
"AI begins with data collection, display, prediction of outcomes and then drive outcomes. How AI can drive human ingenuity potential and amplify it is the current trend," he added.
He referred to "Project Sangam" introduced in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala under which, students are initiated into why they learn and what they learn so that it just does not limit to getting them a job but building on skills to higher achievement.
Salacito also talked about how Microsoft has developed learning tools that help dyslexic children read, a big empowerment of them.

BC TECH is an annual event that enables the wide talent in technology companies across the world come together and exchange ideas and enter into mutual tie ups.
Over 270 companies including giants like Microsoft, Google and Amazon representing $200 billion in value are attending the event. British Columbia province in Canada is home to scores of start-ups as well as giants in technology.
The three-day summit has been organised by Government of British Columbia and the BC Innovation Council (BCIC).

(VS Chandrasekar is in Vancouver on an invitation from Government of British Columbia. He can be reached at chandru.v@ians.in)