Edward Snowden is campaigning against the worlds largest …

American whistleblower and former Central Intelligence Agency employee Edward Snowden has joined the campaign against Aadhaar, Indias 12-digit unique identification number programme that has been under fire for its security and privacy systems.

On Sunday, Jan. 21, Snowden backed KC Verma, former head of Indias external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), who had written about his experiences with Aadhaar. Snowden retweeted the article published in The Wire saying the act of organisations such as banks and telcos forcing individuals to produce their Aadhaar numbers should be criminalized.

Snowdens voice against the Aadhaar programme has been growing louder ever since he first made a reference to the scheme on Jan. 04 after tech journalist Zack Whittaker tweeted a Buzzfeed News piece on the alleged security breach of the Aadhaar database.

A couple of days later, he spoke up on Twitter against the state-run Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) filing a first information report (FIR) against a journalist with The Tribune newspaper who wrote about security breaches of the Aadhaar database. The journalist, Rachna Khaira, described in an article how she paid just Rs500 ($7.84) to buy Aadhaar data from an anonymous seller over WhatsApp.

Snowden, currently under temporary asylum in Russia, also retweeted a statement posted on Twitter by the editor-in-chief of The Tribune.

In addition to openly pointing out flaws in the Aadhaar system, Snowden has also spent time retweeting multiple complaints from Indians about their experiences with Aadhaar.

For months now, Aadhaar has been under attack due to privacy concerns and criticisms of the flawed implementation of the programme, forcing the UIDAI to step up its security processes by introducing new features such as a Virtual ID to authenticate and verify the Aadhaar numbers. Ever since 2015, there have been a number of purported data breaches, including duplication of cards and fraudulent bank transactions made using leaked biometric data.

Meanwhile, the implementation of the Aadhaar scheme is currently being evaluated by a five-member bench in the supreme court of India, led by chief justice Dipak Misra. The perusal follows multiple petitions filed in the courts over the security and privacy being maintained by the UIDAI. This includes a case filed by a womens rights activist claiming that linking Aadhaar data to mobile phone numbers violates privacy, and another filed by a group of bank employees stating they dont have the wherewithal to provide Aadhaar-related services.

The hearing comes four months after the supreme court ruled that privacy is a fundamental right of all Indians, which immediately put a cloud over the aggressive linking of Aadhaar with other schemes and programmes under the Narendra Modi government.

Excerpt from:

Edward Snowden is campaigning against the worlds largest …

Related Post

January 24, 2018   Posted in: Edward Snowden |

Fair Use Disclaimer

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Under the 'fair use' rule of copyright law, an author may make limited use of another author's work without asking permission. Fair use is based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. The fair use privilege is perhaps the most significant limitation on a copyright owner's exclusive rights.

Fair use as described at 17 U.S.C. Section 107:

"Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phono-records or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  • (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for or nonprofit educational purposes,
  • (2) the nature of the copyrighted work,
  • (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole, and
  • (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."