Journalist Who Exposed Aadhaar Breach Deserves Applaud Not Investigation: Edward Snowden

Pauline Gross
January 10, 2018

"They are called @UIDAI", he continued in his tweets.

Criticising Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on Twitter, Snowden said instead of an investigation, the journalist needed to be rewarded for exposing that the Aadhaar data was not fullproof and could be obtained at a cost of only Rs 500.

India Today journalist Rahul Kanwal tweeted, "Totally wrong for UIDAI to file an FIR against the journalist who exposed #AadharLeaks If a loophole is pointed out Govt should work on fixing the flaw rather than try to shoot the messenger". Want to arrest those responsible?

While the newspaper's editor-in-chief Harish Khare refused to comment on the FIR, media outfits were quick to condemn the action.

The Tribune said its performs its reporting by following "traditions of responsible journalism".

The FIR mentioned the names of the journalist and Anil Kumar, Sunil Kumar, and Raj, the three people Khaira reached out to purchase the Aadhaar data, but they have not been shown as accused, the police said.

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

A complaint was received from UIDAI deputy director B M Patnaik on Friday and the FIR was registered the same day, police said.

Joint Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar (Crime Branch), while confirming the development to The Tribune on Sunday, said it was against the paper and the reporter.

In response to Khaira's story, the Unique Identification Authority (UIDAI), which oversees the biometric program sent a letter to the Tribune's editor saying, "It is the UIDAI's position that there was absolutely no access to the biometric details (i.e. fingerprints and iris scans) of any individual whatsoever on the said UIDAI portal". "Soon an investigation will be initiated", he told the newspaper.

According to the Indian Express, the complaint was lodged under sections 419 (cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 471 (using a forged document) of the Indian penal code, section 66 of the IT act (damaging computer systems), and section 36/ 37 of the Aadhaar Act (unauthorized collection and dissemination of information).

Other reports by GizPress

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