Stand up for your rights

Practical RISKS of Aadhaar / UID project

Posted on: August 7, 2011


For the past few weeks when I talk to people, both online and offline, about the threats of Aadhaar/UID project I have been getting mixed responses. Of which the majority are leaning towards the project for those reasons that are “served” but the government through the mainstream corporate media. Ironically, some of the people that I had talked to tried to match the situation similar to the protests made by communist party of Kerala against computers and mechanized harvesting tools. Interestingly, I could see tremendous hope in general public; a hope that UID can wipe out corruption, poverty and also bring development. The explanations I got were all about preventing minor frauds which may cause damage not worth more than Rs.5000.

Apparently, none of the articles that talk about the threats of UID are convincing enough to wake the general public from hallucination. I realize that, there is a great amount of truth in the saying that, “one lives in the prison of their own imaginations”.

Edward Bernays in his famous book ‘Propaganda’ rightly said

 “…The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.

I tried to articulate all the potential risks in my protest letter to Prime Minister, but looking at the comment of a reader I got flabbergasted! It says, “Not a single practical risk comes forward from your article” It clearly shows that how much general pubic values their privacy rights, how much lessons they learned from history, how much proactive they want to be and above all how much well informed and alert they are.

It is that comment which motivated me to write this article; I take it as my failure to express my thoughts in more convincing manner for a wider audience with out taking their level of information for granted. Let me tell you upfront that unless you are ready to spare 3 or 4 hours to go over the videos and links that I’m going to provide below, you will never able to get the bigger picture and remain ignorant about the threats.

Eugenics

The following two videos will give you a 30 minute crash course about the huge risk involved in having a centralized database of all people just like a prison database or earmarks in cattle farms. It has good explanation of Eugenics and how it was used in the history.

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150247807877608

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10150247847852608

The above footages are copied from Alex Jone’s Documentary “End Game”. To date this documentary on YouTube has 1,529,158 views. Alex Jones is an activist/Radio host/Documentary film maker who is fighting against the tyrannical and oppressive government of USA. For more info visit http://www.infowars.com or his YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/TheAlexJonesChannel

Biometrics, Turning a ‘Citizen’ into a ‘Subject’:

Usha Ramanathan ( 2 videos give you great level of information in 30-40 mts)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWUHkHLiSio&feature=player_embedded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyeO2KALDjs&feature=player_embedded

Why Nandan Nilekani could lose his job

(A comprehensive analysis by Rediff Business)

The above article narrates a wide range of 11 different identities of Nandan nilekani which not many people know about. Some snippets from the article

He is head of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which is functioning without legislative approval either at the Centre or in the states and has signed contracts with US companies like L1 Identities Solution that works with US intelligence agencies.

An industry document titled ‘Homeland Security in India’ underlines the connection between UID number and National Intelligence Grid (NAGRID). It is public knowledge that NATGRID chief Capt. Raghu Raman, wishes to hand over ‘internal security’ of the country to the ‘commercial czars’ and recommends ‘private territorial armies’ to safeguard ‘corporate empires’.

Aren’t we aware that UID number is a component of the World Bank’s partnership with six multinational companies and two governments that was announced by the bank in Washington? Do we really believe that the World Bank works to promote our national interest?
WikiLeaks cables reveal how the US State department is interested in knowing about India’s unique identification program, a biometric database of the world’s largest democracy.


VS Achuthanandan about UID

Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan has alleged commercial motive behind the State government decision to implement the Unique Identification (UID) number project Aadhaar

Does the UID project infringe on privacy?

This article has put together two different views. One from the stand point of general public through Supreme Court lawyer Pavan Dugal, and the other, from corporate stand point through Nasscom president Som Mittal.

The UID Aadhaar Project Will Make Constitution Of India A Dead Document By S.G.Vombatkere

“Linked with surveillance in public places and with all people registered with the Aadhaar system, tracking every activity of any or every citizen will be merely a matter of money and technology. This will irreversibly change the relationship between the State and its people, confirming the State as the master when the Constitution of India envisages precisely the opposite.”

The Hindu : Opinion / Lead : Aadhaar: on a platform of myths

 The UID project has been integrated with the Home Ministry’s National Population Register (NPR). [NPR does not ensure privacy, data collected is publicly accessible]

The report of UIDAI’s “Biometrics Standards Committee” notes that “fingerprint quality, the most important variable for determining de-duplication accuracy, has not been studied in depth in the Indian context.”

 High-cost, high-risk (by R. Ramakumar Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.)

 In this article you will read some history around this project and critical analysis.

What is the social benefit of centralizing all information and access to welfare schemes into one smart card? Unfortunately, the UPA government has skipped public debate around criticisms and alternative suggestions.

How the Defense Department is using biometrics

This video will give you a clear idea of how biometrics is been used by USA defense department to keep track of law offenders and criminals.

 

Conclusion

People should learn about their rights and understand that we the people are neither Slaves nor the government is our Master. We are NOT governed by the Government but we are all governed by The Constitution. Value the rights granted by The Constitution, at the same time stand up to DEFEND those rights from erosion. Enormous power granted to the rulers has historically been disastrous to the people. If you have seen the first two videos you will not need any better explanation. Decentralization of power is the key of democracy. It is for the same reason why we have upper and lower houses of parliament who makes law and a President to give assent and a Supreme Court to interpret that law. Isn’t this centralization of data and reversing the role of government from servant to master a “Practical Risk”?

As you saw in the last video USA keeps a database of biometric information of criminals in order to trace them. Now UID project in India is going to treat everybody the same way as USA treats criminals!

Nick Clegg, UK’s deputy prime minister said in his speech in British Parliament,

It is outrageous that decent, law-abiding people are regularly treated as if they have something to hide. It has to stop. So there will be no ID card scheme.”

Aren’t you empowering the government to treat you like a criminal even before you commit a crime? Isn’t this a practical risk?

How many of you trust those rulers in the parliament where more than 60% have multiple criminal charges on them? Black money in Swiss bank alone is over Rs.140, 000 crores. How much black money do you think will be in other foreign and domestic banks and also in other forms of wealth? How responsible do you think these people will take care of your personal data? Isn’t this a practical risk?

I would say, UPA has bullied 1.2 billion people with tremendously great skills!!! Read the book mentioned above, “Propaganda”, to know how did they mold your thoughts to believe that it is a great project? Are people of India OK with dictators? The whole Aadhaar project has not gotten legislative approval yet, which means its ILLEGAL. And the responsible pseudo-intellectual citizens are applauding it! How many of those pro-uid folks have read the THE NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION AUTHORITY OF INDIA BILL, 2010? They baselessly think that this magic number will stop corruption, illegal migrants and terrorism! Clause 6 of this bill says

“The aadhaar number or the authentication thereof shall not, by itself, confer any right of or be proof of citizenship or domicile in respect of an aadhaar number holder”.

It never says that this number is to be given only to the citizens! The statement of objects and reasons of the bill states that

The Central Government had decided to issue unique identification numbers to all residents in India and to certain other persons.”

Who are these “certain other persons”? And the said bill mysteriously didn’t provide any “Reasons” for this project! There is no mention about what problem this project is trying to solve. What alternatives do we have to solve that problem? And there are plenty of questions that need to be answered before spending huge amount of money and inviting huge unforeseen risks. But why are the government collecting data without getting the legislative approval? Did you ever see such enthusiasm in any other government projects? Isn’t it a Practical Risk to override the standard procedures of law making? Isn’t it a Practical Risk to give UIDs to any resident who applied; regardless of whether or not s/he is an illegal migrant?

We do have not too old history of a government which suspended the Constitution and IMPOSED the state of emergency on the people by first woman prime minister of India. That resulted in hundreds and thousands of custodial deaths, rapes and abuse of civic liberties. Once all your daily activities and bank accounts are linked to UID and a particular future government says, “You can’t do more than Rs.500 transaction per day, failing which Rs25 for every extra Rs.100 will be taken out from your bank account and credited to the government”, then what options do you have? If the government starts charging exorbitant amount of taxes and levies for everything then what options do you have? If you say NO, your daily life will precisely come to a dead halt! Aren’t those Practical Risks that we the people may face from a tyrannical government?

Now, do you still want to equate highly sensitive biometric data (which ties a person to bureaucracy) to credit card or a $1000 transaction! Do you still want to equate Aadhaar threats with a threat from a pick-pocket? In a country where we have a completely broken down criminal justice system coupled with extremely corrupted law enforcement system one has to be a retarded, not even a fool, to believe the risks can be mitigated through legislation! At present police are fabricating any sort of evidences to trap innocents, but many of those can be effectively challenged in the court. False cases filed against Ruchika’s brother are classic examples. Once UID is linked to everyone’s daily activities, bank account, medical records and everything, what are the chances that you can think of for a police officer to make fool-proof evidences against an innocent person? Will it help the poor more or the elites to do any crime and get away with it?

After the implementation of UID,

  • What are the chances that you can get LPG without being given it to someone else for a day or two by the agency?
  • What are the chances that all the PDS shops have UID verification devices?
  • If all the PDS shops have UID verification devices what are the chances that the system works when someone wants to buy something?
  • What are the chances that electricity outage, telephone/network outage block a person from getting the service?
  • What are the chances that the service providers intentionally break the system down to deny the service?
  • What are the chances that someone else avail the service in your name and you get trapped in cases which you cannot prove otherwise?
  • Schools do collect information regarding religion, caste race, language; Banks collect income information and what are the chances that future generations won’t face another holocaust, forced sterilization or repeat another Rwanda?
  • This list will go on based on how well your criminal brain works; but my point is there is nothing much you can expect out of this project other than surrendering your sovereignty and making the State, a more powerful Master.

I’m not against e-governance or any thing that improve efficiency but that process should not infringe upon our civil rights and liberties. PAN cards made a big difference in tax collection, but not at the cost of privacy. The data is not accessible even through Right To Information Act. So should every department. We should draw the line at the right place so that liberty and security can prosper together.

Late Roger Needham, a British computer scientist, aptly said,

‘If you think IT is the solution to your problem, then you don’t understand IT, and you don’t understand your problem either.’


Please post the letter to the prime minister.

Protest Letter to PM

UID Cartoon /Caricature PDF format

Public awareness notice in Malayalam.

Sign Online Petition here

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26 Responses to "Practical RISKS of Aadhaar / UID project"

The Terrifying Future of The United States

S Y Quraishi, former chief election commissioner, had sent a dangerous proposal to Union Ministry of Home Affairs asking it “to merge the Election ID cards with UID”. Such an exercise would mean rewriting and engineering the electoral ecosystem with the unconstitutional and illegal use of biometric technology in a context where electoral finance has become a source of corruption and black money in the country.

http://www.rediff.com/news/column/if-uid-is-voluntary-why-is-it-used-to-deliver-services/20121019.htm

Mr, Prassoon Suryadas,
Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us, but the way i see it it is only one face of the coin, you see many countries before india canceled uidai type project(as per my knowledge) because it was presented a potential threat to some “category” of people who like to be anonymous for some “UNKNOWN” purpose, and it would have been the same in India if it came as government identification, well it is but it came as welfare enhancing stuff so parliament had no option of rejecting it and now to accomplish their purpose of stopping this project maybe they are threatening people of India to not to support it, while in reality it may be useful in identifying terrorists in the time of crisis, and concerning about privacy and surveillance, i think facebook myspace and telephone registry would be more easy don’t you think.

I mean when more than 40 crore people have already enrolled in it, what will government or “non-government” people will do with our photos fingerprints and biometric data. if “they” really want to frame someone or find out something about someone they can do it anyway, aadhar or not, well sure it would be more easy.

and please reply to my reply, do you think it would never become compellsory to get aadhar?, what do you suggest to do once people have enrolled in it and now regret? can they undo what they have done? Should they?

Thank you again for such compelling article!
Dante

It is clear from your comment that, you haven’t gone through all the links and videos provided here to understand the “potential threats”.
Also read this and see it makes sense to you.
https://prassoon.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/protest-letter-to-prime-minister-against-uid-aadhaar-project/

That some “category” of people are those

  • who care about the future of next generation
    who possess a basic level of dignity
    who possess a minimum level of self-respect
    who is aware of and learned lessons from history
    who knows the credibility and vulnerability of technology
  • The bill was rejected NOT because of “welfare enhancing stuff”, it was because of high security threat. Aren’t you working out your own hypothesis?

    How do you identify terrorists using UID? Police catch someone and match his finger print against those in the database, right? Do you know that the success rate of biometric device is just under 94%. Based on your theory 6% of indians are vulnerable to be prosecuted and convicted as “terrorists”. That means over 6lakh people can get wrongly convicted. Also, there is high chance that REAL terrorists get benefit of this unreliable system!!! In 20th century alone the Fascist (Stalin) Socialist(Hitler) and Communist (Mao) regimes have killed over 200million people. How many got killed by TERRORISTS? democide

    Hope you have seen the news about Aadhaar numbers issued for corriander, cumber etc. Some of the numbers are lost in transit. So many duplicates already issued. So many rackets already arrested for creating fake UID cards. This is handled with utmost carelessness. 40 crore people ILLEGALLY enrolled have already made themselves more vulnerable! There is a court case running in Karnataka High Court questioning the constitutionality of this project. Court gave UIDAI about 8months to respond!!!! It will come again in Oct-Nov but guess what is going to happen? As in any other cases, this case will also get adjourned for yet another 6-8 months.

    Though there is external pressure to complete this project asap, I personally believe it will get dropped at some point quoting the same arguments that the opponents are making. That will happen only after the public money reaches the “right” pockets and the biometric database reaches the Eugenicists!!! Thanks for reading.

    Thank you for you’re kind reply, i’m getting you’re point now but i have a question, what do you suggest a person who has already enrolled to do? as i have. unfortunately i didn’t have much of an idea about all the risk, also in my enrollment even though i ticked no but it has ticked yes for the share you’re information. i have emailed the aadhar help center and they replied that soon there will be update centers where we can change the information entered during enrollment, so is there anyway to undo the damage now? also, i have read somewhere i think said by aadhar director that, “there has been a big bogey about risks involving aadhar, but a passport needs much more information than aadhar” sorry for my bad english, and the quote may have some errors as i’m writing it from my memory! please tell us if there is anyway to undo the damage or stop it from getting worse!

    Thanking you,
    Dante

    Passport is needed only for those who need to travel. Passport do not collect biometric info. (Recently they started, though!!! [illegal]) The information collected for passport is not stored by foreign agencies/companies. Passport is not linked to any other government departments like gas, pds, banks, schools, occupation and whatsoever. The very principle of democracy is to decentralize power; this project is contrary to that!

    All you can do is to seek help from court to stop this project.

    Dear Mr Soordas,

    One of the most painstakingly compiled but most STUPID article. You are an educated ignorant suffering from some psychological disorder. I have gone through every thing and do not subscribe to any of your fears.

    Yes, it is possible to fake fingerprint. But there is iris also. For most important transactions, Iris will be used to identify. Do you have any instance when Iris could be duplicated too? And if yes, then at what cost/time/success?

    Current system of identity assessment through signatures/inked thumb impression is million times easier to fake compared to finger print faking. In due course, we will have devices that will deny this faking too.

    Just because some expert Chabhiwala can open the lock on your house door, do you start leaving the door unlocked. UID may not be 100% foolproof. But it is the best that is available. We will upgrade to better system when it is available.

    You can surely apply your energy to some other useful purpose than spread canards like this.

    RK Singh Sir, Thanks for reading. I’m approving your offensive comment because I’m seeing you as a victim of DECEPTION. From your comment it is clear that you did not gather any knowledge other than what BIG BROTHER or CORPORATE MEDIA served to you. I see your mind as a dark room which is closed for several decades. I’m still hopeful because I’m sure that I do not need to lit the candle for that many decades to bring light in to that dark room. Your subconscious mind know that you are locking something with chabi but just need a little bit more insight to know that you are locking yourself up according to somebody else’s malevolent plans.

    If you are honest to yourself I recommend you a few books. Very informative…

    Propaganda – By Edward Bernay’s published in 1928.
    Tragedy & Hope – By Caroll Quiglley published in 1964
    Ninteen Eighty-Four – By George Orwell published in 1949
    Big Brother, The Orwellian Nightmare came true. – By Mark Dice published in 2011

    and i thought i was the only one who followed alex jones in india :p … good article 🙂

    thanks :). Spread the word and see how best we can resist.

    i keep trying … is frustrating when you see rajnikanths stupid jokes getting a million shares and articles like these are ignored … its okay to tell them “well i told you and you chose to ignore it so SUFFER NOW” … BUT the problem is I DONT WANNA SUFFER ALONG WITH THE REST OF THE HERD! ..

    and brother ..how else can i keep myself updated on this UID topic? by email or anywhere else?
    and whats the current status .. i mean are people protesting? if so how can i help? is there an online petition (ive signed the one you provided) … anything else going on? i really would like to know if people are opposing the idea .. and the current status of the aadhar project! ..in its official website it claims to have already issued over 14 crore UID’s … sad!

    First let me congratulate you on a superb piece.
    I have used this link,[which I came across,while googling for the COST of AADHAR/UID project] in my blog article:-

    http://ramadeva2.wordpress.com/uid-dangers/

    thanks for spreading the word and being part of the fight.

    First of all, great looking site you have here and great post too. I would like to keep up with your posts but having problem subscribing to your rss.

    Prassoon, though I respect your thoughts but do not agree with them. Don’t banks already get KYC forms which have everything except biometircs? If I am a law abiding citizen why I should be afraid if govt. have my data? Some of the points raised by you are outrightly wrong like “someone else getting it in my name?” How? Isn’t it biometric? Assume, someone can get a UID in my name s/he they will get my biometric details?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I do not claim that i have better criminal thoughts than any other criminals so as to accurately predict how it will get misused. But as i mentioned in the article quoting Edward Bernays “Our thoughts are molded based on the information fed into our brain”. I don’t you will have disagreement to the fact that, “in India anything can happen if you have money and power”. Now I will recommend to watch a couple of videos… This will show you how can we cheat a biometric device

    The following video will give you a general idea about those who are illegally (yes i said illegally) running this project. This is about those people who are fueling this project to run as quickly as possible before people wake up. Why are they showing that much hurry which we have never seen in any other projects?

    Truth of Black Money – by former income tax commissioner

    To conclude, i would say the biggest threat is not from the people but from the Government itself. And i can see that you are seriously mistaken about this project. You are some what right regarding government having the data, but there is absolutely NO guarantee that your personal information will stay with government and ONLY with government. You told that banks already have the data, yes now they want to associate that to a physical body to have TOTAL control over an individual and that’s where biometrics play. Do you want to give BANKS total control? If they already have enough data to get things done why are they FORCING us to surrender? These are only very few aspects of the whole threat… I am sure that you haven’t spent enough time to go over the links i provided and learn more. Knowledge is power, please spare a few hours, its very important. When you get a big picture you can easily see the face of culprits crystal clear.

    Dearest Mr Prassoon Suryadas

    Congtrats. for excellent article on Aadhar UID Card Project.

    Say No to Aadhar UID Card.

    Best wishes

    Sincerely
    Ranjan Kumar Amritnidhi
    Freelance Journalist & Photographer
    Patna

    “Aadhaar” will not turn a citizen to a ‘subject’.
    It will make us a ‘Number’ or a ‘Bar code’
    Dear Prasoon go ahead.

    Yes you are right… and soon into implanted RFID chip!

    go ahead man

    Stupid Article ….The author has done very little study on Aadhar….He is ignorant and in many cases incorrect factually…

    thanks for the comment, but you missed to point out what’s factually incorrect and what part got missed in the research. If it is just throwing darts in the dark readers will tend to believe you represent that certain category of people which is mentioned in the article.

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