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giftedviz.com January 19, 2018


Snowden says programmes like Aadhaar result in abuse

10 January 2018, 01:35 | Darnell Patrick

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Aadhaar expose Media protests FIR against Tribune reporter

He went a step further and advised the Modi government to reform Aadhaar policy itself which, he said, has compromised privacy of billions of people.

An Indian government agency has filed a police complaint against a journalist who exposed a possible security breach in the country's vast biometric database that contains the personal details of over a billion citizens, raising fresh concerns about shrinking press freedom in India.

Questioning the move of the Indian government, Snowden tweeted: "The journalists exposing the #Aadhaar breach deserve an award, not an investigation".

In its statement, the newspaper said: "My colleagues and I are grateful for expressions of support and solidarity from media organisations and journalists".

The Tribune said its performs its reporting by following "traditions of responsible journalism". "This report was eminently in the public interest".

"We regret very much that the authorities have misconceived an honest journalistic enterprise and have proceeded to institute criminal proceedings against the whistleblower".

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) wants a probe into "unauthorised access" to its database.

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According to PTI, on 5 January, a complaint was received from UIDAI deputy director BM Patnaik and the FIR was registered the same day.

"The Aadhaar data, including biometric information, is fully safe and secure", it had said, adding, "There has not been any data breach of the biometric database, which remains fully safe and secure with the highest encryption at UIDAI and a mere display of demographic information can not be misused without biometrics".

Alok Kumar, joint commissioner of Delhi Police's cybercrime unit, did not respond to CPJ's calls seeking comment.

"The FIR has been registered by the UIDAI".

Various press bodies including the Press Club of India, the Editors Guild, Indian Women's Press Corps, Press Association and the Mumbai Press Club on Sunday condemned the lodging of FIR against The Tribune reporter who exposed vulnerability of the Aadhaar data.

The FIR, lodged with the Cyber Cell of the Crime Branch, invokes serious charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), IT Act and Aadhaar Act. Section 66 of the IT Act and Section 36/37 of the Aadhaar Act have also been applied against the accused.



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