The journalist who exposed Aadhaar data breach deserves an award, not an investigation, says Edward Snowden supporting the Tribune reporter, Rachna Khaira.
Edward Snowden Supports Journalists Who Exposed The Aadhaar Breach
It is needless to mention how important Aadhaar number is, especially in India. From cell phone numbers to bank details it has everything in its database, hence it is helmed as the unique identification number. In short, all personal, financial and government registered details comes under the umbrella of Aadhaar.
Imagine all these volumes of data falling into the wrong hands, how much risk it could cause! Not long ago a former contractor with the United States National Security Agency, Edward Snowden identified such risks. All of this started when a journalist, Rachna Khaira from The Tribune, covered a story on how administrator login ID could be bought for as little as Rs. 500. These credentials are used to access the UID portal to get information of almost a billion Aadhaar contacts, hence compromising the privacy of every single one of them. What is more disturbing is that this service was being offered by anonymous sellers over WhatsApp.
After the report, the UIDAI filed a complaint against Rachna and stated the names of people involved in the story and deemed them as accessories in a criminal conspiracy. This enraged a lot of people including Edward Snowden who came out in full support by stating “The journalist who exposed a possible breach of data in India’s biometric identification system Aadhaar deserves an award, not an investigation”.
Snowden in full conviction blamed the Unique Identification Authority of India that was responsible for destroying the privacy of a billion Indians.
This was Snowden’s second statement on Aadhaar within a span of few days. On Friday, he expressed his thoughts on the law and concluded that the lawmakers always find a way to bend reforms and abuse it. He stated:
“If the government were truly concerned for justice, they would be reforming the policies that destroyed the privacy of a billion Indians,” Snowden wrote. “Want to arrest those responsible? They are called @UIDAI.”
The journalists exposing the #Aadhaar breach deserve an award, not an investigation. If the government were truly concerned for justice, they would be reforming the policies that destroyed the privacy of a billion Indians. Want to arrest those responsible? They are called @UIDAI. https://t.co/xyewbK2WO2
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) January 8, 2018
On January 5, Snowden had hinted that the Aadhaar database conceived and introduced by the Indian government can also be misused and abused. The Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad yesterday in lieu of these events asked the journalist and The Tribune to bust this case. The cover-up included the minister stating about the freedom of the press and also revealed that no FIR was charged in the name of the journalist.
“Govt. is fully committed to freedom of Press as well as to maintaining security & sanctity of #Aadhaar for India’s development. FIR is against an unknown. I’ve suggested @UIDAI to request Tribune & it’s journalist to give all assistance to police in investigating real offenders,” Prasad tweeted