Is Narendra Modi right in going back to Aadhaar?
Both Barack Obama and David Cameron-Nick Clegg stood by their words and abandoned national ID schemes. Unfortunately, Narendra Modi and BJP, which promised to scrap biometric Aadhaar during their election campaign, have gone back on their words
 
The US’ Department of Homeland Security is creating a global biometric system of identification and economic control, so that biometrics becomes the common international denominator identifying us to governments and corporations. Such a system destroys national sovereignty, removing control of the people over their government. This system threatens religious freedom, privacy, states’ rights, the rights of representation and our ability to redress grievances, state sovereignty and national sovereignty. -Mark Lerner in Systematic Plan for a Single Global Biometric ID System
 
The national identity card scheme represents the worst of government. It is intrusive and bullying, ineffective and expensive. It is an assault on individual liberty which does not promise a greater good. The Bill is, therefore, partly symbolic. It sends a message that the Government is going to do business in a different way. We are the servants of the people, not their masters, and every action that we take must be considered in that context.
 
-Theresea May, Secretary of State for the Home Department, UK while introducing Identity Documents Bill to abolish ID cards and the national identity register that contained the biographic and biometric fingerprint data of cardholders and to destroy all information recorded in the national identity register on 9 June 2010
 
Every institution is becoming an "inspection regime" - recording, watching, gathering information and storing data…the shadow of the prison, which is no longer separated from society as an institution of total surveillance. Instead, it is increasingly the general condition of society as a whole. Everyone is living under a surveillance panoptican in which living means living as criminals. It is part of a "military metaphysics" - a complex of forces that includes corporations, defense industries, politicians, financial institutions and universities.-Henry A Giroux in The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine
 
Businesses and governments exploit big data without regard for issues of legality, data quality, disparate data meanings, and process quality. This often results in poor decisions, with individuals bearing the greatest risk. - Marcus R. Wigan, University of Melbourne & Roger Clarke, Australian National University in "Big Data's Big Unintended Consequences," Computer, vol. 46
 
Heralding a hitherto unknown biometric- global economic system based on catalogued humanity, 28 January 2009 for India and 11 May 2005 for US has become one of the saddest days for civil rights due to the illegitimate advances of the State. On 28 January 2009, the Prime Minister headed Planning Commission issued a notification creating Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) which failed to get Parliament’s endorsement despite repeated attempts. It functioned with Ram Sewak Sharma as its Director General from August 2009 to March 2013 under whose tenure Narendra Modi as Chief Minister of Gujarat was biometrically profiled for Aadhaar in spite of the fact that he himself had categorically questioned the legality and legitimacy of biometric data collection by Dr Manmohan Singh-led government. After that Sharma was made the Chief Secretary of Jharkhand, where he implemented Aadhaar related civilian schemes in violation of the Supreme Court’s order with impunity. He was appointed Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY), Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology from 1 May 2014 ahead of Modi assuming office of Prime Minister on 26 May 2014. Now, he has been given the additional charge of Secretary, Department of Telecommunications for three months with effect from 1 July 2014 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.  
 
On 11 May 2005 in the US, the Real ID Act for a national ID was rushed through US Congress and the US Senate with utmost urgency as part of a bundle of legislations, a toxic legacy of George Bush years. Following people’s resistance Barack Obama opposed it during his presidential campaign as a candidate of the Democratic Party and during his tenure as US President Real ID was declared “dead on arrival DOA” by Janet Napolitano, US Secretary of Department of Homeland Security in July 2009. At least 43 US states have submitted legislation to oppose Real ID nationwide. Some 24 States have nullified the Real ID Act after passing laws against its implementation so far. 
 
In recent times, it all started with the US Department of Defence using the tragic event of 11 September 2001 as an excuse to get the first post-September 11 anti-terrorism legislation passed through its legislature. Now it has reached India’s Ministry of Defence, besides all the agencies of the central government. A letter from Department of Defence Production, Ministry of Defence, Government of India on the subject “Aadhaar Enabled Biometric Attendance System (AEBAS) in Central Government offices dated 11 August 2014 has been sent to DGQA, DGAQA, Directorate of Standardisation, Directorate of P&C, Defence Exhibition Organisation, OFB, New Delhi Office and Local Office of DPSUs. This letter was sent in response to a letter dated 4 August 2014 from Ram Sewak Sharma, Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY), Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology addressed to Radha Krishna Mathur, Secretary, Department of Defence Production, and Union Ministry of Defence. In this regard an email dated 7 August 2014 was sent by Nandita Chaudhry, Deputy Director General, HOG, National Informatics Centre (NIC) Defence Informatics Division, and Government of India on subject of Aadhaar Based Biometric Attendance Monitoring System to concerned departments. 
 
The paragraph 5 of Ram Sewak Sharma’s letter reads, “I may add that the aforesaid attendance system has been in operation in the State of Jharkhand since 1 January 2014 and is being recently tried on Pilot Basis in the Department of Electronics & IT, Ministry of Communications & IT, New Delhi. You may like to visit the dashboard of the aforesaid system at attendance.jharkhand.gov.in and deity.gov.in/attendance respectively for familiarization.” It adds that the preparatory step be taken in this regard by 10 August 2014 “keeping in view the urgency of the matter”.  
         
In India, Prime Minister headed Planning Commission’s UIDAI consistently said that the 12-digit unique identification (UID) number branded as aadhaar is meant for civilian application not meant for defence application. Aaadhar has emerged as an exercise in breach of trust reposed in the government by the citizens. From the outset, aadhaar was promoted as being ‘voluntary’ identification exercise for usual residents of India. Going back on its promise, it was made mandatory. Supreme Court heard the matter and passed the order saying it cannot be made mandatory. The introduction of Aadhaar Enabled Biometric Attendance System for central government employees is an act, which is manifestly in contempt of court. 
 
It must be recalled that as per Biometrics Design Standards for UID Applications prepared by UIDAI Committee on Biometrics headed by Dr BK Gairola, Director General, NIC, “From the standpoint of the biometrics industry, the UID system is a civilian application of biometrics. Although the primary focus is the UID system, the Committee believes that the specifications should meet the needs of all civilian applications.” Notably, Ram Sewak Sharma as Director General,  UIDAI was the Member and Convener of the UIDAI Committee on Biometrics. Dr C. Chandramauli, Registrar General of India (RGI), Union Ministry of Home Affairs, responsible for biometric National Population Register (NPR), was also one of the 10 members of this committee. This committee of Government of India was set up on 29 September 2009 under the signature of Ram Sewak Sharma. 
 
The report of the Committee categorically states its scope and unequivocally underlines that the UID/ aadhaar system is a civilian application. Given the fact that Director General, NIC headed this committee comprising of Ram Sewak Sharma that limited the application of UID system to civilian application, the letters of Ram Sewak Sharma in his role as Secretary, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), Union Ministry of Communications and Information Technology addressed to Radha Krishna Mathur, Secretary, Department of Defence Production, Union Ministry of Defence and the letter of Nandita Chaudhry, Deputy Director General, HOG, National Informatics Centre (NIC) seeking compliance with aadhaar based biometric attendance and monitoring is structurally problematic and constitutes serious dereliction of duty on their part.  This merits high level inquiry pending which the order seeking compliance with aadhaar based biometric attendance must be recalled in the interest of national security.     
 
It is a matter of record that the origins of the UID process within the US Department of Defense started under Michael Wynne, former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L) during 2003- 2005. They signaled the arrival the UID industry. Within NATO, two documents deal so far with unique identification of items. The first one is standardization agreement, which was ratified in 2010. The second one is a "How to guide for NATO members willing to enter in the UID business”.  Its aim is to undertake universal identity surveillance by adopting these technologies. They have an ulterior motive of merging biometric ID database with the internet amidst legal uncertainty about privacy rights in general and electronic privacy rights in particular.
 
But quite unlike Obama and Democratic Party, who stood by his words and abandoned Real ID Act in US, Narendra Modi and Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) that promised to scrap biometric aadhaar identification number during the prime ministerial election campaign has gone back on their words in a glaring and historic act of somersault compromising their trustworthiness for good.    
 
As has been the case in US, in UK too, Tony Blair-led Labour Party got The Identity Cards Act 2006 (c 15) passed from the Parliament of the United Kingdom to provide National Identity Cards based on demographic and biometric details like fingerprints and iris scan.
 
This was cited as an example by companies like WIPRO who worked for the Planning Commission to argue for UID/ aadhaar identification system for Indian residents.   
 
The coalition of Conservative and Liberal Democrat party in UK announced that the biometric ID card scheme would be scrapped. The current David Cameron-Nick Clegg government stood by their promise unlike Modi and got The Identity Cards Act repealed by the Identity Documents Act 2010 on 21 January 2011. "This marks the final end of the identity card scheme: dead, buried and crushed," UK Home Office Minister Damian Green said. "What we are destroying today is the last elements of the national identity register, which was always the most objectionable part of the scheme." Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister who was in India to meet Modi recently had participated in the civil disobedience campaigns by refusing to register for the biometric ID card.  
 
The fact is that US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to create a “Global Security Envelope of internationally shared biometric data that would permanently link individuals with biometric ID, personal information held by governments and corporations.”
 
The release of the Cabinet titled ‘Digital India – A programme to transform India into digital empowered society and knowledge economy’ issued by Press Information Bureau (PIB) on 20 August 2014 fits into the scheme of US’ DHS. PIB presents it as a follow up of the key decisions taken on the design of the programme during the meeting of the Prime Minister on Digital India Programme on 7 August 2014. This programme has been envisaged by Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) and implemented by the entire government at an overall estimated cost of Rs1 lakh crore in ongoing schemes and Rs13,000 crore for new schemes and activities. The power point presentation on the subject of Digital India issued by the PIB states, “The weaving together makes the Mission transformative in totality”. It claims that “Digital India is a Programme to prepare India for a knowledge future.” It reveals that the Programme pulls together many existing schemes. These schemes will be restructured and re-focused. They will be implemented in a synchronized manner. It underlines that the common branding of programmes is being referred to as Digital India to highlight their transformative impact. 
 
Framing cradle to grave “digital identity” -unique, lifelong, online and authenticable as infrastructure utility for every citizen, it claims to provide “Shareable private space on a public cloud” and “Safe and secure Cyber-space.” Digital India entails “Seamlessly integrated across departments or jurisdictions”, availability of all citizen entitlements, documents/ certificates and portability of all entitlements on the cloud. 
 
As per DeitY’s proposed programme, Broadband Highways, Universal Access to Phones, Public Internet Access Programme,  E-Governance – Reforming government through Technology , eKranti – Electronic delivery of services, Information for All, Electronics Manufacturing, Electronics Manufacturing – Target NET ZERO Imports, IT for Jobs and Early Harvest Programmes are nine pillars of Digital India. The fourth pillar envisages “Government Business Process Re-engineering using IT to improve transactions” through use of online repositories e.g. school certificates, voter ID cards, etc., integration of services and platforms – UIDAI, Payment Gateway, Mobile Platform, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), an electronic communication system that provides standards for exchanging data via any electronic means and electronic databases – all databases and information to be electronic.  EDI was developed in 1996 by US National Institute of Standards and Technology.  By adhering to the same standard, two different companies in two different countries can electronically exchange documents. It underlines that it is to be implemented across government because it is “critical for transformation”. 
 
A Monitoring Committee on Digital India comprising of Prime Minister as the Chairman and Finance Minister, Minister of Communications & IT, Minister of Rural Development, Minister of Human Resource Development and Minister of Health as members and Principal Secretary to PM, Cabinet Secretary, Secretaries of Expenditure, Planning, DoT and Posts as Special Invitees with Secretary, DeitY as the Convener has been set up.  
 
A Digital India Advisory Group chaired by Minister of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) will supervise DeitY and an Apex Committee chaired by Cabinet Secretary will supervise the Line ministries and state governments along with DeitY.  
 
The words “transformation”, “digital identity”, “public cloud” and “secure cyber-space” used by Prime Minister headed Monitoring Committee on Digital India merit attention.
 
The word “transformation” is one of the latest conceptual weapons unleashed by World Bank through its e-Transform Initiative launched on 23 April 2010 at a World Bank Spring Meeting in collaboration with France, South Korea, Gemalto, IBM, L1, Microsoft, Pfizer and Intel attended by developing country ministers of finance and communications. The core idea is promote e-governance through e-identity to ensure convergence of private sector, public sector and citizens sector. Also, it will ensure 24 X 7 financial surveillance by the global institutions of imperial countries. The international financial and military institutions have initiated a transformational government project to which government seems to have subscribed unwittingly.  
 
The word “digital identity” is simply an echo of Bank’s e-identity, NATO’s unique identity, US Govt’s Real ID and INTERPOL’s proposed electronic identity card (e-ID) system. Notably, INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K Noble emphasized the need for a globally verifiable electronic identity card (e-ID) system in April 2011 at the ID WORLD forum in the presence of Tariq Malik of Pakistan's National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA), World Bank Integrity Vice-President Leonard McCarthy, European Commission Head of International Affairs, Directorate General Home Affairs, Luigi Soreca, the UAE’s Head of Identity Authority, Ali Al Khouri besides Pakistan's Minister of Interior Rehman Malik, who was later found to be a British citizen by the Pakistan Supreme Court. Wikileaks revealed that Rehman Malik handed over the database of Pakistani citizens collected by NADRA to US agencies
 
“Public cloud” refers to a form of cloud computing in which a company relies on a third-party cloud service provider for services such as servers, data storage and applications, which are delivered to the company through the Internet. A public cloud can free companies from the potentially expensive costs of having to purchase, manage and maintain on-premises hardware and software infrastructure. This means citizens’ biometric data (the way it has happened with electoral data) will be available online for Big Data corporations of all ilk for data mining. In effect, the proposal of the new Government to put citizen’s documents and entitlements on public cloud ignores the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Information Technology on Cyber Crime, Cyber Security and Right to Privacy made in February 2014 revealing how aadhaar number and NPR number compromise national security and citizens’ sovereignty for good. The database of these numbers is being stored on cloud which is beyond India’s jurisdiction. The servility of the previous regime towards agencies like NSA and their infantile reactions recorded in the report of the PSC in the face of evidence that the entire union cabinet was under NSA's surveillance must be remembered as one of the dark chapters of Indian history. In their abject meekness Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) did not hide even an iota of information from the NSA but it has been reluctant to share its correspondence with Nandan Nilekani under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. But the new government does not appear to have factored disclosures by whistleblowers like Wikileaks, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. 
 
As to “secure cyber-space”, one thing which guaranteed in the cyber world is that no online database is ever secure. Will aadhaar database be more secure than those of Pentagon and NSA? 
 
Isn’t Government of India simply imitating the proposals of US, NATO, World Bank, INTERPOL and the initiative of Pakistan without examining its far reaching strategic implications refusing to learn to from China, Australia, UK, France and US who have abandoned national ID projects?
 
In India, states, municipalities, organisations, schools and media organisations and companies are already using biometrics, like facial recognition, digital fingerprinting and iris recognition without realizing that it is a slow methodical filling databases with personal-biometric information for global enrollment process underway.
 
Our personal sensitive data is being mined and owned by entities with ulterior motives. In the era of data science, isn’t our personal data being misused to spy on us and bombard us with motivated advertisements of all ilk? “Dataclysm: Who We Are” (When We Think No One’s Looking) authored by Christian Rudder, a mathematician reveals that our personal sensitive information is being abused. 
 
Our legislatures and even informed citizens have not pondered over the implications of information asymmetry between the citizen, state, government and the business enterprise. Michel Foucault noted long back that the prison begins well before its doors. It begins as soon as you leave your house - and even before.
 
Richard Thomas, as UK’s Information Commissioner prophetically said, "My anxiety is that we don't sleepwalk into a surveillance society." In an act of ultimate betrayal of trust, the Modi-led Government has reneged on its electoral promise on biometric aadhaar and is bulldozing Indians into a global surveillance regime, which is beyond the overall might of Government of India at the behest of agents of the empire. 
 
You may also want to read…
 

 

Why biometric identification of citizens must be resisted? Part I

 

Biometric identification is modern day enslavement -Part II

 

Biometric profiling, including DNA, is dehumanising -Part III

 

Marketing and advertising blitzkrieg of biometric techies and supporters -Part IV

 

History of technologies reveals it is their owners who are true beneficiaries -Part V

 

UID's promise of service delivery to poor hides IT, biometrics industry profits –Part VI

 

Technologies and technology companies are beyond regulation? -Part VII

 

Surveillance through biometrics-based Aadhaar –Part VIII

 

Narendra Modi biometrically profiled. What about Congress leaders?-Part IX

 

Aadhaar: Why opposition ruled states are playing partner for biometric UID? -Part X


 

Is Nandan Nilekani acting as an agent of non-state actors? –Part XI


 

Aadhaar and UPA govt's obsession for private sector benefits–Part XII

 

CIA-funded MongoDB partners with UIDAI to handle Aadhaar data –Part XIII


 

Are Indians being used as guinea pigs of biometric technology companies? -Part XIV

 

Aadhaar: Is the biometric data of human body immortal and ageless? Part XV

 

Aadhaar: The propaganda of transnational vested interests –Part XVI


 

Aadhaar: Pakistan handed over, India giving database on a platter– Part XVII

 

Engineered row in US-India relations, an attention diversion tactics of big brothers?—Part XVIII


 

Aadhaar: UIDAI and the ‘fifth column’ of Napoleon—Part XIX

 

Aadhaar: Turning citizens into subjects through social control technology companies –PartXX


 

Why Kejriwal govt in Delhi should abandon biometric Aadhaar?—Part XXI


 

Aadhaar for LPG: Oil companies, Ministry of Petroleum & UIDAI disobeying Supreme Court order–Part XXII


 

Why Vasundhara Raje should immediately withdraw circulars making Aadhaar mandatory -Part XXIII


 

How Congress has been proven wrong on biometric Aadhaar and NPR -Part XXIV


 

Aadhaar, NPR, UN resolution and deafening silence of political parties –Part XXV

 

Is Congress converging UID numbers of EVMs and Indian voters? –Part XXVI


 

Is our political class trapped by economic hit men from database empires? -Part XXVII

 

Aadhaar & database risks: Will India evaporate to become nobody in our life time? –Part XXIX


 

How BJP’s Yashwant Sinha is wrong about ‘biometric’ National Population Register –Part XXX


 

Aadhaar: The lies of Nilekani and Congress over biometric profiling –Part XXXI


 

Why the PMO is hiding behind Election Commission on Nilekani’s resignation? -Part XXXII

 

Who allowed merger of voter database with the illegal Aadhaar? Part XXXIII



Has Nilekani followed Pakistan’s NADRA in creating, enforcing Aadhaar? –Part XXXIV

 

 

How biometric IDs can stir 'the Pot' and lead to civil war? -Part XXXV

 

 

Will Nandan Nilekani be held accountable for violating service conduct rules and citizens’ rights? Part XXXVI

 

 

(Gopal Krishna is member of Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL), which is campaigning against surveillance technologies since 2010)

 

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    COMMENTS

    MARVELLOUSRESEARCH

    5 years ago

    SARKAR SHRI BEFORE PARLIAMENT ELECTION AND AFTER ELECTION ? BEFORE OPPOSING UPA POLICIES NOW FOLLOWING THAT THERE IS NO OPTIOS FOR SARKAR SHRI.SAUCHALAYA AND SWACHH BHARAT-JAN DHAN BANKING ABHIYAN WILL PROVE GREAT BLLUNDER AND KING OF KAUBHAND IN FUTURE SARKAR SHRI UNBALE TO STOP THAT.

    Mahesh S Bhatt

    5 years ago

    Also Nandan Nilekani lost in Bangalore MP seat to BJP so why is UIDAI being supported.

    Nandan Nilekani lost by a margin of close to 2.3 lakh votes defeated by Ananth Kumar who is no where in Modi camp as he supported Advani.

    Yippee IT so called expert hunts in Delhi for survival after failed Narayan Murthy's INFY second outing.

    Job hunt simply for overqualified failed Public life servant rehab scheme may be.

    Ye Modi aur hare huye Jaitley jisne Modi ko Godhra Riots se bachaya uska phal hai.

    Yeh Jan Adesh ko di gayi Izzat Hai

    Mahesh

    Mahesh S Bhatt

    5 years ago

    In Mera Bharat Mahaan we have Online IT Tax return but no Online FIR logging capabilities.

    We have Modi supporting Mukesh in Gas peice hike to $ 6 but not checking global rates where we would be No.2 after Brazil.

    Our telecom networks are porous/our ministry's are bugged/our mails are on gmail/hotmail easy target for survelliance.

    None of the Minister has been proven corrupt & Lokpal is diluted with few thousands ministers handsomely corrupt.

    But beauty is Government wants common man clean.

    Good news is Amma ( Jayalalita) has rejected UIDAI citing mass scale social unrest if implemented & drastic reduction in Center's assistance in key fundings for social upliftment.

    Modi's MLA in Gujrat Govind Patel was proxy broker in corrupt land deal in Rajkot that's personal experience.

    We have failed Loksabha MP given Finance ( in lieu of experienced Yashwant Sinha)& Defence portfolio who is Tech/Financially non qualified.

    Undergrad Modi's aide Smriti Irani holding key HRD ministry.

    Bihar by poll loss is beginning of Modi's failure to gauge the pulse of poor state of economy & inflation.

    So better he works out there first.Amen Mahesh

    P A

    5 years ago

    Biometric card is a national waste of resources and intrusion into one's privacy, and tool to discriminate people according to whatever parameters the rulers decide

    Victor Raj

    5 years ago

    This PM of UPA III is getting directions from SG or MMS or US?

    irfan ahmed

    5 years ago

    BJP Govt is in the process of handing over database of Indians biometric ID (Aadhaar) to US and its allied corporations and countries. It is following the path of govts of Hosni Mubarak and Zardari. People will not forgive BJP's betrayal.

    M S Prabhakar

    5 years ago

    Nandan Nilekani's Aadhaar (UIDAI) is an unviable idea. When the scheme goes beyond data collection and enters the phase of implementation of real benefits, its true identity as the most NON-UNIQUE IDENTIFIER will emerge. See two excellently researched articles (not referenced in the section: "You may also want to read...")

    1. India's ID card scheme – drowning in a sea of false positives, by David Moss (March 2011) [see http://dematerialisedid.com/BCSL/Drown.h... ]
    2. How UIDAI goofed up pilot test results to press forward with UID scheme, by MONEYLIFE DIGITAL TEAM | 18/03/2011 [see http://www.moneylife.in/article/how-uida... ]

    REPLY

    Ram Das

    In Reply to M S Prabhakar 5 years ago

    In that case, you should also read response to Mr. Moss by Murali Chirala. Mr. Moss needs to learn basic statistics before multiplying random set of numbers. His analysis is simply mathematically wrong. Ask any qualified statistician.

    M S Prabhakar

    In Reply to Ram Das 5 years ago

    Of course, I've read Murali Chirala's reply and the detailed technical rebuttals by David Moss and Mark Lerner. I am a well-qualified consultant on advanced technologies and in many situations, qualified statisticians and mathematicians also consult me. Next time when I get an opportunity, I'll take your advice and ask them, too. Not that I can never be wrong, but I generally do my homework well before I comment. In this case, I believe the conclusions on false positives by David Moss is correct and his fears are well justified.

    This is not a forum for mathematical discussions, hence I'll desist from a giving technical justification. However, I do realize that our ex-PM fell for a suggestion by Nandan Nilekani in his book "Imagining India". I do not think whether Nandan had done enough research before he made this suggestion in his book. I strongly believe other reputations of Nandan's background influenced the creation of UIDAI. It was a self-imposed trap out of which Nandan could not extricate himself out. I would have expected Nandan Nilekani to give a detailed technical rebuttal to David Moss. He hasn't, and being a smart person (in hindsight, not in matters concerning technology), I guess he never would.

    Incidentally, I took a keen interest on the only implementation of Aadhaar (LPG benefits registration) and found no biometrics being recorded before bank accounts were linked to LPG registration numbers. How would the much-touted "direct benefits transfer" be ensured that they go to the right persons, if the LPG linkage has by-passed all biometric authentications?

    Please do not live in an imaginary universe where people with inflated reputations (like Manmohan Singh and Nandan Nilekani) can play havoc with our society just to preserve their egos.

    Sandeep

    In Reply to M S Prabhakar 5 years ago

    Sir, with all due respect to your Math and Stats credentials, It is hard to digest your comment of "true identity as the most NON-UNIQUE IDENTIFIER will emerge" what is the possibility that a same Aadhaar no. may point to multiple person?

    M S Prabhakar

    In Reply to Sandeep 5 years ago

    UID Enrolment Proof-of-Concept Report (available for download at the Unique Identification Authority of India website at http://uidai.gov.in/images/FrontPageUpda... ) will give the answer to your question. The "Results" section on page 23 of 32 says: “we will look at the point where the FPIR (i.e. the possibility that a person is mistaken to be a different person) is 0.0025 %”. It also states: "...the accuracy achieved by using ten fingerprints and two irises is fifty times better than by using irises alone and twenty five times better than by using fingerprints alone. The accuracy level achieved was 99.99% in this case...".

    Use these two figures on India's population of ~1.2 x 10^9, and you'll get the answer to your question: "what is the possibility that a same Aadhaar no. may point to multiple persons?".

    Do not forget that in actual implementation of the LPG "Direct Benefits Transfer" scheme, neither fingerprints nor iris scans were used to link Aadhaar numbers and bank a/c numbers to LPG consumer numbers.

    If you want a detailed analysis, read David Moss' original article at http://dematerialisedid.com/BCSL/Drown.h...

    irfan ahmed

    In Reply to Ram Das 5 years ago

    The very basis of uniqueness of Biometric aadhaar is flawed. US studies have found biometrics to be inherently fallible. is there a part of human body which does not change with time.

    Ravindra

    5 years ago

    NaMo is absolutely right in going back to AADHAR.
    1 Every person in a developed country has an ID apart from the Passport since everybody need not and does not need a Passport. This ID is required at many places e.g. while boarding a Domestic flight, at restricted entry places etc etc. What do we have? Driving License for those who have it? Or Ration Card which does not carry even a Photograph of the person. Any ID First of all must carry the Photograph since it is the Primary Identity of a person. Fingerprints, Optical Identity (by looking in the camera) come later. Also the Magnetic Strip on the ID which contains Volumes of Information about the Person is an Important Part where scanning facilities are provided. So there no question about every Indian having an ID.
    2 Now the question comes to AADHAR. In a typical INDIAN way for AADHAR we invented the wheel again. Like Chinese we should have just copied the American and German ID even askking for their Assistance and only added a few things to suit our conditions.
    3 Now the question is who should carry out the work further. It should be again Nilekani who knows the ins and outs of the existing system and also the best person to know what went wrong, where. He may be assisted in the task by two other stalwarts, Vijay Bhatkar and Sam Pitroda. These people belong to INDIA and not Congress and the Government should have no hesitation in offering them the task and they hopefully will accept the Challenge.
    4 This time we should not invent the wheel again and ask for the assistance of the American and the German Governments. It is not an insult to ask for assistance to make something better.

    REPLY

    Anand Doctor

    In Reply to Ravindra 5 years ago

    Mr. Ravindra,

    1.While a photo Id is certainly important, it need not be bio-metric. You quote the example of developed countries but missed out on the fact that the same developed countries refused bio-metric ids.
    2.As to who should handle it, the people who brought it so far have clearly defrauded the Indian public, acted without legal authorisation from the parliament and created huge security lapses and privacy violations. As for Mr. Nilekani, did he not fight elections on a Congress ticket? How can any prudent person trust these people?

    Ram Das

    In Reply to Anand Doctor 5 years ago

    Let us get facts right
    1. In the US, most states take fingerprints before issuing driver's license.
    2. Every naturalized citizen of the US needs to provide fingerprints.
    3. Most western countries require biometrics for issuing visa.
    Two most populous countries beside india, China and Indonesia have biometric national ID cards.
    Will facts change The author's views? No because the author's conclusions do not require facts, only blind faith in his own beliefs.

    irfan ahmed

    In Reply to Ram Das 5 years ago

    Get your facts right about REAL ID Act of USA and abandonment of national register of citizens by China. Under Indian law collection of biometric data is illegal. It can be collected only under Identification of Prisoner Act with the permission of Magistrate. Even this has to be destroyed on acquittal. Do read the Act.

    sohan modak

    5 years ago

    Narendra Modi is making a huge mistake by playing into the hands of UPA's and Nilekani's Aadhar that sold out every Indian citizen's privacy to US agencies/corporations with Nilkani and his supporters pocketing greenbacks.

    REPLY

    Ravindra

    In Reply to sohan modak 5 years ago

    Very childish and prejuduced.

    santosh

    5 years ago

    Happy to join. Shall be sending you the money. Regards,

    Will Nandan Nilekani be held accountable for violating service conduct rules and citizens’ rights? Part 35
    Nandan Nilekani, who was Chairman of UIDAI till 13 March 2014 had joined Indian National Congress on 9 March 2014 thus violating the service rules for government servants

    Tolerably early in life I discovered that one of the unpardonable sins in the eyes of most people is for a man to go about unlabelled.
     
    -TH Huxeley, a British biologist and a prominent defender  of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution
     
    Supreme Court, in its order dated 28 April 2014, directed that the case filed by Justice KS Puttaswamy (retd), Major General Sudhir Vombatkere (retd) and others, against Planning Commission’s Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which has been given the mandate for labeling Indian residents with a 12-digit biometric identifier number be listed for hearing “in the month of July 2014.” It remains to be seen whether the new government will  bury the biometric identification schemes even before court hears the matter in July.  
     
    Meanwhile, a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that Nandan Nilekani, who was Chairman of UIDAI till 13 March 2014 had joined Indian National Congress on 9 March 2014. He sent his resignation on 13 March 2014 to the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, which was accepted on 18 March 2014 by the “competent authority” with retrospective effect from 13 March 2014. 
     
    Now that Narendra Modi has taken the oath of office secrecy as the new Prime Minister of India, it must be recalled that Nilekani held the official position in the rank of a cabinet minister but he did not take any oath of office or secrecy.   
     
    It is noteworthy that Nilekani’s candidature was announced by the Congress party on 8 March 2014, a day prior to his officially joining the party at the Congress office. After signing the Congress membership form in the presence of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G Parameshwar at the party office in Bangalore on 9th March, Nilekani said “people want change and I am for the change. The Congress has existed for 130 years and let me assure you that the Congress will be there for the next 100 years. For the next 40 days, my focus will be on Bangalore South and I am here to win.” 
     
    On his blog Nilekni states, “I am now officially announced as the Lok Sabha candidate for Bengaluru South from the Congress party” on 9th March itself. Admittedly, Nilekani resigned as the Chairman of UIDAI, three days after joining Congress. 
     
    Given the fact that Nilekani was a government servant when he joined a political party, it is evident that he violated Rule 5 that deals with “Taking part in politics and elections” of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964 and Rule 5 of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968. 
     
    This Rule provides: "No Government servant shall be a member of nor be otherwise associated with any political party or any organisation which takes part in politics nor shall he take part in, subscribe in aid of, or assist in any other manner, any political movement or activity.” 
     
    It also provides that “No Government servant shall canvass or otherwise interfere with, or use his influence in connection with or take part in an election to any legislature or local authority.”
     
    According to the Rules, "government servant" means any person appointed by the government to any civil service or post in connection with the affairs of the Union and includes a civilian in a Defence Service. A government servant, whose services are placed at the disposal of a company, corporation, organisation or a local authority by the government shall, for the purpose of these rules, be deemed to be a government servant serving under the government notwithstanding that his salary is drawn from sources other than the Consolidated Fund of India.
     
    In the matter of violation of this Rule as has been the case in the matter of Nilekani joining a political party, it is for his/ her immediate superior to “forward them through the normal channels to the authority competent to remove or dismiss him from service.
    Except where such authority requires guidance or clarification from a higher authority, it shall consider the report and pass appropriate orders. If it is proposed to impose any penalty the procedure prescribed in the CCS (CCA) Rules, should be followed.” [MHA OM No. 25/40/55-Ests. (A), dated 22.02.1956]
     
    Now the question is how will Nilekani be penalized for having violated these Rules? Since these violations happened after the commencement of election schedule on 5th March, the violation of the Rules merit the attention of the Election Commission of India as well.
     
    He filed his nomination for the Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency on 21 March 2014. On 17 May 2014 Nilekani wrote, “I want to thank the Congress Party, for their faith in me as a candidate. I joined the Congress on 9th March, and I was entirely new to electoral politics. Yet the Congress leaders were incredibly supportive, and the leaders were united in their efforts for this campaign” his blog
     
    In his affidavit of Nilekani has made asset declaration but there is no mention of his bungalow in Conoor, Nilgiri hills, Tamil Nadu, which he admittedly owns and the same has been reported. This property which Nilekani bought once belonged to Sarah Stoney, mother of Alan Turing, British computer scientist. This asset was in the news ‘A House for Mr Nilekani’ as recently as in January 2014. It was reported by The Times of India. There are many reports about this house. In short, the property details, which is missing from Nilekani’s declaration is as under: Location: Walkers Road, Coonoor, Bunglow Name: The Gables.
     
    Post elections, there is a need to examine the veracity of Nilekani’s affidavit dated 26 March 2014 and the violations of rules by Nilekani, the chairman of UIDAI, who became the a member of a political party and a candidate in the Lok Sabha elections.
     
    Besides these violations, it is noteworthy that Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had reportedly petitioned electoral authorities against Nilekani because of his name and picture figuring with advertisements of Aadhaar, when the Model Code of Conduct was in force.
     
    With regard to the RTI application seeking copies of all file documents and correspondence relating to Nilekani and right up to the resignation, S Mukherjee, director for administration at Planning Commission and assisstant CPIO replied, “Kindly indicate, specifically the documents and correspondence that are required by you.” On the face of it, the RTI application filed by Qaneez Sukhrani, a urban affairs researcher is quite specific.  
     
    In the meantime, the notification dated 30 July 2009 signed by TKA Nair, the then principal secretary to the Prime Minister, setting up the Prime Minister’s Council of UIDAI comprising of 12 members including A Raja, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology reveals that the Council has the mandate to “give advice to UIDAI on the programme, methodology and implementation to ensure coordination between Ministries/ Departments, Stakeholders and Partners” under Dr Manmohan Singh as its Chairman. 
     
    This Council, which was “serviced by Director General of UIDAI”, comprised of Finance Minister, Home Minister, Law Minister and the Foreign Minister among others to “identify specific milestones for early completion of the project” was clearly the guiding force. Therefore, it is evident that the charade of turf war between Finance Ministry’s UIDAI for biometric Aadhaar and Home Ministry’s biometric National Population Register (NPR) to claim bipartisan support from the latter had an ulterior motive to entrap BJP for good
     
    One of the first few tasks the new BJP-led government is going to be confronted with is to decide whether or not they subscribe to Congress’s ideology of labelling, branding, profiling and zeroing in on the present and future generations of every Indian citizen. 
     
    In a book ‘The Problem of Party Government’ published in 1974, its author Prof Richard Rose writes, “Office-holding is a necessary but not a sufficient condition of governing.” He added, “Where life of party politics does not affect government policy, the accession of a new party to office is little more significant than the accession of a new monarch; the party reigns but does not rule.” It is hoped that with change in regime, pre-existing orders too will change.   
     
    BJP has defeated Nilekani and his party, which he joined as the chief of Aadhaar implementing authority. Nilekani lost by 2.29 lakh votes but he came second with 4.05 lakh votes. It is noteworthy that he polled these many votes due to misuse of official machinery and the unprecedented support of almost all the commercial czars, who unsuccessfully attempted to manufacture consent in his favour. His Aadhaar project was supported by some key leaders of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) too.
     
    Will the new regime be able to defeat Congress’s regressive ideology rooted in biometric determinism at the behest of foreign military and intelligence companies by abandoning both Aadhaar and NPR
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    COMMENTS

    Babubhai Vaghela

    5 years ago

    (1) Fit case for criminal case on criminal conspiracy on UID by Nandan Nilekani, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, P Chidambaram and Manmohan Singh as also Ajit Seth Cabinet Secretary to Govt of India. (2) Infosys should confiscate shares of Nandan Nilekani - Founder Director of Infosys.

    nilesh prabhu

    5 years ago

    nandan nilekani's is a minor offence.

    there is one Mylarappa who resigned from government of karnataka contested the assembly post bjp ticket, lost and went to court asking for reinstatement, won in court,later appointed as VC

    How biometric IDs can stir 'the Pot' and lead to civil war? -Part 34

    The democratic mandate, which the non-Congress parties are likely to get, is against a regime that surrendered the interests of Indians on the dictates of imperial powers the way many African countries and Asian countries like UAE and Pakistan have done

    Like Ivory Coast, a civil war can happen in India too because of biometric and electronic identification. All the international agencies, which are involved in promotion of unique identification (UID) through Planning Commission, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Election Commission of India (EC), residential addresses and land titles in India were involved there as well. Likes of LK Advani, P Chidambram, Nandan Nilekani, Sam Pitroda and C Chandramouli have been advocating national identity cards as if “everyday forms of identity surveillance” is natural and rational.

    How is it that when heads of states are put under round the clock surveillance by colonial and imperial powers it is deemed an assault on national sovereignty but when a national government undertakes the same over their masters, the citizens, it becomes natural and rational.

    A communication titled ‘Biometrics Stir the Pot in the UAE’ dated 22 November 2003, sent by some unidentified US official from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Group Destinations Arab Israeli Collective, Secretary of State, US and Dubai, UAE and to undecipherable location named ‘RUCNFSC CFSC SA COLLECTIVE’ merits attention.  This communication was brought to light by Wikileaks. Its import can be appreciated only if its following text is read:

    “The Public Affairs and Consular Section in Abu Dhabi hosted a Press Briefing on the fingerprinting of NIV applicants at the US Embassy. In addition, Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) and Consular Chief briefed the Director of Consular Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on the new Fingerprinting Procedures at the Embassy. Newspapers published accurate, informational stories and the Director of Consular Affairs expressed his understanding. Although one UAE official has refused to be fingerprinted saying he was being treated like a "Criminal," the UAE's majority Third-Country Nationals (TCN) are taking it all in stride, already subject to fingerprinting and retinal scans by the UAE and Emirate-level Governments.”NIV stands for Non-Immigrant Visas (NIV).

    This reporting of UAE’s response to fingerprinting and retinal scans sounds like the reaction of different ministries of Government of India and Indian media, most of whom like their UAE’s counterparts did “accurate, informational stories.” But unlike the one official in UAE, who refused to be fingerprinted, in India, one did not learn about any civil servant who refused to enroll for biometric identification in the pronounced manner.
       
    The communication further revealed that a foreign team installed fingerprinting collection devices on 23 October 2003 at the interview windows in conjunction with the consular section's routine computer upgrade schedule. After the installation, the consular section began collecting fingerprints from the required NIV applicants on 2 November 2003.
     
    It is noteworthy that US embassy officials are reporting even the work of plumbers of fingerprint machines and installation of biometric devices to Secretary of State and their intelligence allies in Arab States, Israel to undecodable locations. Do Indian officials, senior political leaders and concerned citizens realize its import?

    The Wikileaked communication informs that journalists and photographers from all UAE’s English and Arabic dailies were called for briefing them “about the new biometric collection procedures” so that public is informed about it. This communication informs: “journalists focused primarily on the appropriateness of fingerprinting and questioned whether or not the fingerprinting was focused on Arab and Muslim audiences. Vice Consul responded that this was not the case, and, as reassurance, showed journalists the stacks of old computers the Orkand team has just finished replacing with new Pentium IV systems. (Comment: we recommend other posts do the same if possible, as this seemed convincing to the journalists present.)”
     
    It goes on report that following this briefing to media, on 6 November 2003, journalists published stories based on the information provided to them including “the implementation of fingerprinting solely based on routine maintenance schedules and mentioning Frankfurt, Brussels, San Salvador, and Guatemala City as the first Fingerprinting Posts.”
     
    This shows how journalists are/ were taken for a ride because they were made to believe that it was just a routine case of replacing old equipments with new equipments. It appears that the same tactics has been replicated in India in the matter of Aadhaar, National Population Register (NPR) and other places where biometric identification is being made mandatory.

    On 9 November 2003, there was a meeting with the Director of Consular Affairs at the UAE‘s MFA, where in the Director expressed “his understanding of the need to move towards biometrics to enhance the security of the United States. He briefly commented on the retinal scans in place at UAE ports of entry for certain categories of visitors to the UAE, in particular workers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. He expressed satisfaction that fingerprinting did not apply to A- 1 and A-2 visa categories.”
     
    It is clear yet again that the biometric devices are getting installed not because of any domestic compulsion of the Asian or African countries but because countries like US want it installed. This also demonstrates that those wielding diplomatic and official immunity do not hesitate to barter away their citizens’ rights if their temporary individual rights and privileges remain intact.
        
    This cable from US embassy in UAE records that “public reaction to the initiation of fingerprinting of NIV applicants has been mixed. The UAE population is more disturbed by the prospect of fingerprinting than the UAE's majority TCN population. Consular staff have not received complaints from TCN applicants, who have their fingerprints taken for residence visas and IDs by federal and emirate-level governments. Certain TCNs are also subject to retinal scans at UAE airports.” The TCN population refers to Third-Country Nationals. A TCN is an employee who is not a citizen of the home or host countries.

    It reads “Reaction by UAE nationals, on the other hand, remains mixed. The vast majority of UAE national student and tourist visa applicants have complied quietly and calmy when requested for their fingerprints. The prospect for turmoil with government officials and prominent UAE nationals, however, remains to be seen. One UAE senior university administrator official, the subject of a Class A Visa referral, refused to come to the embassy and told pas staff that he "would not be treated like a criminal." This reaction only stresses the continuing need to inform applicants that biometric capture capability not only enhances national border security to the benefit of US citizens and permanent residents, but increases the safety and security of visitors to the United States as well.” The communication reveals that promoters of biometric devices were expecting some “turmoil” but as things unfolded they were happy to witness unquestioned obedience of government officials and prominent UAE nationals like in India.
     
    A secret cable, which was created on 17 December 2009 and Wikileaked on the 23 April  2011 revealed that like in UAE, the US’ State Department is deeply curious about UID, India's biometric data based identification program. It asked its embassy in India to provide information about the progress or status of the Indian biometric ID card's development and deployment and wished to know “India's strategic plan for utilizing biometric ID card technology in the military, law enforcement, and private sectors.”

    It sought to know as to which government agencies will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the national ID card biometric collection strategy, how do authorities plan to utilise the biometric ID card at India's borders, ports, and airports, which foreign countries and/or corporations are assisting in the development of the ID card, which biometric systems (i.e. fingerprints, facial recognition, iris scan, etc.) will be incorporated into the card, what prompted development of the ID card, which company is providing the biometric collection devices, storage, and matching database equipment, which organizations/agencies within India will have access to information gathered by the biometric ID card collection devices, what systems, databases, or portals will the named biometric ID card collection devices in India communicate with, will the ID card be accepted for passport applications, what types of anti-fraud measures do Indian authorities plan to incorporate in the issuance process and what security features are planned for the ID card, will the card be International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) compliant and will it use any encryption and any efforts to "spoof" or defeat biometric enrollment, such as fingerprint alteration.

    The cable asked these questions but it prefaced it with few observations. It reads: “Washington analysts read with keen interest recent press reports about a proposed biometric national ID project in India …the project has been billed at recent trade conferences as the largest biometric enrollment ever proposed and is the biggest biometric  initiative anticipated in 2010.  Despite promised improvements, the cards would provide, analysts are concerned the program could present a vulnerable target for regional extremist groups -- such as Lashkar e-Tayyiba -- who could obtain fraudulent Indian ID cards during the large-scale  enrollment for use in travel or as breeder documents to apply for passports.”
     
    This cable gives the impression that US agencies have been following the project from its incubation stage.

    It underlined that with regard answers to the questions posed that “results of these requirements will be incorporated into a strategic assessment for senior US policymakers on the regional implications in South Asia of the biometric ID program.”
     
    Another cable dated 4 September 2008 released by Wikileaks reveals that US Ambassador to India met with Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on 2 September 2008 wherein the name of would be chief of UID/ Aadhaar, Nandan Nileakni figured for a Sub-group of US-India CEO Forum for educational collaboration which was to provide a report after the elections. Notably, this cable from New Delhi was sent to Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Council, Secretary of Defense among others. Notably, Nileakni was one of the eight members of National Knowledge Commission (NKC) headed by Sam Pitroda who advocates identification and tagging of every object in India through his Public Information Infrastructure initiative.
     
    US Embassy’s cable for the week of 29th June to 2 July 2009 notes that the UID “project is expected to cost about Rs1,500 billion ($31.5 billion), and technological challenges in creating tamper-proof smart cards capable of handling Indian conditions are expected. According to press reports, the GoI may exclude private companies from participating due to the large amount of confidential information involved in the program. The public sector company Bharat Electronics Ltd has already issued over 120,000 smart cards under a GoI pilot project to establish a multipurpose national identity card, and is likely to be one of the key players.” It is noteworthy that eventually Indian government did not exclude private companies.

    With regard to the National Smart Card Identification System, the wikileaked cables reveal that “Joint Secretary (Telecom) JS Deepak told Econoffs that the first meeting between Additional Secretary of Department of Telecom Subodh Kumar, Nandan Nilekani, chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and founder of Infosys, and Indian telecom service providers was held on 24th September to discuss the roll-out of the unique identification (UID) program. Earlier this year, the GoI set up the UIDAI to implement a Unique Identification card project, which will own the database of residents along with their biometric information….Joint Secretary Deepak noted that despite the inherent challenges posed by the massive scale of this program, the introduction of UID will transform the way Indians do business in the areas of Government-to-Citizen interaction. He said the ID would be useful for a multitude of purposes, including elections, taxation, national security, and banking. Deepak, a former USAID employee responsible for global social programs, was enthusiastic about the UID's potential to greatly reduce 'leakage' in government subsidies and benefit payments, including the NREGA program, and for its ability to also transform provision of education and healthcare.” Econoffs refers to US Embassy’s Economic Office.This communication was sent from New Delhi as part of its report for week of 21st to 24 September 2009. It is noteworthy that Deepak’s credential as former employee of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been mentioned. Earlier, Bolivia and Russia have expelled USAID from their countries. In Pakistan in protest against the drone strike there Pakistani Punjab government has refused to accept US aid.  Recently, Associated Press has revealed that USAID’s Chief Rajiv Shah who is reportedly considered a possible candidate for the post of US Ambassador to India supervised Cuban twitter like program- ‘ZunZuneo’-using front companies based in Cayman Islands and other places for cooking unrest there. Interestingly, the $1.6 million spent on it was channeled in the name of an unspecified project in Pakistan since 2009.

    The role of Ministry of Telecom in conceptualizing or launching UID program under A Raja’s tenure as its minister merits examination.
     
    While the background behind the operationalization of the biometric ID project reveals the opaque manner in which it took off, ramifications of launch of such projects demonstrates its true colours.

    In the book, Paper Citizens, its author Kamal Sadiq records, “In Ivory Coast, a national identity card scheme was central to a national politics that slid into civil war” that began in 1999 splitting the country in two-a rebel-held north and a government-held south. In this country, national identity card scheme was introduced with the help of UN agencies to enable the exercise of franchise. A referendum in July 2000 barred presidential candidates in Ivory Coast from contesting unless both of their parents were Ivorian. This led to disqualification of Ivory Coast’s former Prime Minister, Alassane Ouattara from the 2000 presidential election because his citizenship certificate and national identity card was denied until 2002. This issue became a major factor in the civil war given the fact that ruling party and opposition party held diametrically opposite views on documentary citizenship.
     
    The insistence of documentary citizenship based on national identity card has also given birth to the business of fake identity cards, identity thefts and imposters.
     
    Dwelling on the situation in African countries like Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Zambia, in a 2001 paper “Disenfranchising the North through the National Identity Card scheme” Ibrahim Ado-Kurawa, general editor of Weekly PYRAMID – The Magazine said, “In most of the organized world identity cards have never been election requirements” and concluded, “The ID card is a much more benign form of genocide if it gets to pass.”

    The distinguishing identity of citizens and non-citizens is getting blurred because of the idea of documentary citizenship based on biometric identification being deeply planted by US and EU based security agencies and companies. This leads to creation and naturalization of 24X7 continental and transboundary surveillance on human movement that opens the possibility wherein national ID card would be a ticket to the loss of much of personal freedom and intergenerational and intra generational rights.
       
    Non-Congress government that is all set to take charge of the national affairs will have to take a pledge that they will not be subjecting citizens to biometric surveillance through the ongoing merger of aadhaar, NPR Voter ID card and the Electronic Voting Machines. The servility of the previous regime towards agencies like US National Security Agency (NSA) and their infantile reactions in the face of evidence that the entire union cabinet was under NSA's surveillance must be remembered as one of the dark chapters of Indian history. In their abject meekness Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) did not hide even an iota of information from the NSA but it is reluctant share its correspondence with Nilekani under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
       
    The democratic mandate, which the non-Congress parties are going to get is against a regime that surrendered the interest of Indians on the dictates of imperial powers in the way many African countries and Asian countries like UAE and Pakistan have already done. The new government must demonstrate that structure of India’s electoral ecosystem will remain impregnable from Trojan horses of all ilk to root out the possibility of Ivory Coast like situation that gets created by colonial powers. The strategic engineering, which has set pot boiling must be cooled because as they say a spark neglected burns the house.

    You may also want to read…

     

    Why biometric identification of citizens must be resisted? Part I
     

    Biometric identification is modern day enslavement -Part II
     

    Biometric profiling, including DNA, is dehumanising -Part III
     

    Marketing and advertising blitzkrieg of biometric techies and supporters -Part IV
     

    History of technologies reveals it is their owners who are true beneficiaries -Part V
     

    UID's promise of service delivery to poor hides IT, biometrics industry profits –Part VI
     

    Technologies and technology companies are beyond regulation? -Part VII
     

    Surveillance through biometrics-based Aadhaar –Part VIII
     

    Narendra Modi biometrically profiled. What about Congress leaders?-Part IX
     

    Aadhaar: Why opposition ruled states are playing partner for biometric UID? -Part X

     

    Is Nandan Nilekani acting as an agent of non-state actors? –Part XI

     

    Aadhaar and UPA govt's obsession for private sector benefits–Part XII
     

    CIA-funded MongoDB partners with UIDAI to handle Aadhaar data –Part XIII

     

    Are Indians being used as guinea pigs of biometric technology companies? -Part XIV
     

    Aadhaar: Is the biometric data of human body immortal and ageless? Part XV
     

    Aadhaar: The propaganda of transnational vested interests –Part XVI

     

    Aadhaar: Pakistan handed over, India giving database on a platter– Part XVII
     

    Engineered row in US-India relations, an attention diversion tactics of big brothers?—Part XVIII

     

    Aadhaar: UIDAI and the ‘fifth column’ of Napoleon—Part XIX
     

    Aadhaar: Turning citizens into subjects through social control technology companies –PartXX

     

    Why Kejriwal govt in Delhi should abandon biometric Aadhaar?—Part XXI

     

    Aadhaar for LPG: Oil companies, Ministry of Petroleum & UIDAI disobeying Supreme Court order–Part XXII

     

    Why Vasundhara Raje should immediately withdraw circulars making Aadhaar mandatory -Part XXIII

     

    How Congress has been proven wrong on biometric Aadhaar and NPR -Part XXIV

     

    Aadhaar, NPR, UN resolution and deafening silence of political parties –Part XXV
     

    Is Congress converging UID numbers of EVMs and Indian voters? –Part XXVI

     

    Is our political class trapped by economic hit men from database empires? -Part XXVII
     

    Aadhaar & database risks: Will India evaporate to become nobody in our life time? –Part XXIX

     

    How BJP’s Yashwant Sinha is wrong about ‘biometric’ National Population Register –Part XXX

     

    Aadhaar: The lies of Nilekani and Congress over biometric profiling –Part XXXI

     

    Why the PMO is hiding behind Election Commission on Nilekani’s resignation? -Part XXXII
     

    Who allowed merger of voter database with the illegal Aadhaar? Part XXXIII

    Has Nilekani followed Pakistan’s NADRA in creating, enforcing Aadhaar? –Part XXXIV
     

    (Gopal Krishna is member of Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL), which is campaigning against surveillance technologies since 2010)

     

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