New Delhi: American whistleblower Edward Snowden has come out in support of the Tribune reporter, who has been booked for exposing alleged flaws in Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) system.
Taking to Twitter, Snowden said instead of an investigation, the journalist needed to be rewarded for exposing that the Aadhar data was not fullproof and could be obtained at a cost of only Rs 500.
In his tweet, the former United States government contractor, who has taken an asylum in Russia, also suggested that action should rather be taken against UIDAI, the body that runs the Aadhaar programme.
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
Meanwhile, Union Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad yesterday had said that the administration was "fully committed to freedom of press" and that an FIR filed is "against unknown".
Govt. is fully committed to freedom of Press as well as to maintaining security & sanctity of #Aadhaar for India's development. FIR is against unknown. I've suggested @UIDAI to request Tribune & it's journalist to give all assistance to police in investigating real offenders.
— Ravi Shankar Prasad (@rsprasad) January 8, 2018
An investigation into the Aadhaar security loophole by the Tribune had showed that details of the 12-digit unique identification number is easily accessible.
The paper said that its reporter purchased a service by anonymous sellers over WhatsApp. The reporter paid Rs 500 via Paytm to an agent. Within 10 minutes the agent gave a login ID and password, thus giving unrestricted access to details of over 1 billion Aadhaar numbers.
Through the log in gateway, one can enter any particular Aadhaar number in the portal and access all details like name, address, postal code (PIN), photo, phone number and email of the individual
What was more shocking that by paing another Rs 300, the the agent provided “software” that could facilitate the printing of the Aadhaar card, the paper said.
However, the Unique Identification Authority of India, has assured that there has not been any Aadhaar data breach. The Aadhaar data including biometric information is fully safe and secure, UIDAI has said.
With ANI Inputs