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WikiLeaks says CIA may have accessed India’s Aadhaar data; officials deny it



WikiLeaks says CIA may have accessed India’s Aadhaar data; officials deny it

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]~By Rajesh Sinha

The day Supreme Court of India ruled that Right to Privacy is a Fundamental Right, Wikileaks put out a press release saying US’ spying agency CIA is using covert information collection tools based on products from Cross Match, a US company specializing in biometric software for law enforcement and the Intelligence Community.

A day later, on Aug 25, Wikileaks tweeted: “Have CIA spies already stolen #India’s national ID card database?” Cross Match Technologies also shares its biometric solutions with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), nodal agency for Aadhaar. So far, the UIDAI, that issues these biometric-based cards, has allotted Aadhaar to around 115 crore Indians.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][vc_column_text]Officials concerned in India have vociferously denied any such data theft by any agency in the world, reported The Times of India.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1503752194348{padding-top: 20px !important;background-color: #a2b1bf !important;}”]The WikiLeaks Release:


24 August, 2017

Today, August 24th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes secret documents from the ExpressLane project of the CIA. These documents show one of the cyber operations the CIA conducts against liaison services — which includes among many others the National Security Agency (NSA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The OTS (Office of Technical Services), a branch within the CIA, has a biometric collection system that is provided to liaison services around the world — with the expectation for sharing of the biometric takes collected on the systems. But this ‘voluntary sharing’ obviously does not work or is considered insufficient by the CIA, because ExpressLane is a covert information collection tool that is used by the CIA to secretly exfiltrate data collections from such systems provided to liaison services.

ExpressLane is installed and run with the cover of upgrading the biometric software by OTS agents that visit the liaison sites. Liaison officers overseeing this procedure will remain unsuspicious, as the data exfiltration disguises behind a Windows installation splash screen.

The core components of the OTS system are based on products from Cross Match, a US company specializing in biometric software for law enforcement and the Intelligence Community. The company hit the headlines in 2011 when it was reported that the US military used a Cross Match product to identify Osama bin Laden during the assassination operation in Pakistan.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]A tweet from WikiLeaks warned:[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][vc_column_text]An investigative piece by Govind Krishnan V in ‘Fountain Ink’ raises further questions about the security of Aadhaar data. The UIDAI in 2010-2012 – its inception phase – awarded contracts to three US-based biometric service providers (BSP): L-1 Identity Solutions, Morpho-Safran, and Accenture Services Pvt. Ltd. These companies, all with proprietary biometric software, were responsible for profiling 60 crore Indian residents; developing protocols for avoiding de-duplicating of user details and supplying devices to enrolment agencies.

These companies are connected to both Cambridge Analytica and Palantir Technologies through business dealings and individuals involved in their affairs during the period of the contract.

Cambridge Analytica, Palantir Technologies and the Chertoff Group are among the corporations that are part of the military-industrial complex and ‘the mass surveillance behemoth’ in US that is funded in part by America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) and ‘billionaires with agendas’, and ‘populated by a revolving-door of key American security and intelligence personnel’.

WikiLeaks says CIA may have accessed India’s Aadhaar data; officials deny it

L-1 Identity Solutions, Morpho-Safran and Accenture have scores of business contracts with American, French and British intelligence and defence agencies through direct contracting of services or services provided by parent corporations and sister companies. Several individuals who worked at these companies have held top positions in the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US military before making the switch.

A review of the contract between the BSPs and UIDAI found that they had access to unencrypted biometric data as part of their job, contrary to UIDAI’s public stand that the data is always encrypted and inaccessible. “A set of written questions sent to UIDAI and its top officials didn’t receive any response,” the article said.

The proximity of companies tasked by UIDAI with processing the biometric data of Indians to Cambridge Analytica and the heart of an emerging data empire in the context of the intricate web of intelligence, military and government contacts involved is troubling, says the article.

The WikiLeaks warning aside, even without a spy agency resorting to high-tech snooping, there have been several reports about Aadhaar data theft or leakage in the country. In May, Centre for Internet and Society said Aadhaar data of as many as 13.5 crore card holders have already leaked online. It later modified its statement to change ‘leak’ to ‘public disclosure’, according to Hindustan Times.

Some days ago, the government had revealed it has deactivated more than 81 lakh Aadhaar cards suspecting them of being fake. In July, reports said more than a million Aadhaar card data were compromised in Jharkhand due to a programming error that occurred on the state’s social security website.

In the past as well, similar breaches had occurred in the eastern Indian state that had exposed personal data details of family of M S Dhoni, who was then the captain of the Indian cricket team. Uncovering of any such sensitive data diffuses personal details as name, address, Aadhaar and bank account numbers.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1503751561311{padding-top: 20px !important;background-color: #a2b1bf !important;}”]A long list of such instances has been compiled by ‘MediaNama’. It said “these are instances of people whose details have already been compromised. Plugging these leaks doesn’t mean that this permanent information hasn’t already been accessed and recorded by a third-party.”

April 2017:

Khadi & Village Industries Commission has an entire database online with Aadhaar numbers mentioned. This has been verified by MediaNama.

Kendriya Sainik Board Secretariat has published a file online with Aadhaar numbers. This has been verified by MediaNama.

Chandigarh Public Distribution scheme website discloses Aadhaar number. Source: @roadscholarz on Twitter.

Kerala Sevana Pension Site: Has uploaded excel sheets with details, including Aadhaar Numbers of pensioners for whom delivery has failed (for reasons including invalid bank account number, “door not opened”, Address not available and deceased, among others) for: Agricultural Labour Pension, Old Age Pension Scheme, Disability Pension Scheme). We’ve checked and verified this. Source: Anand Venkatanarayan on Twitter.

Jharkhand Directorate of Social Security: Over a million Aadhaar numbers leaked by a website run by the Jharkhand Directorate of Social Security. Report by Hindustan Times.

Venkaiah Naidu, then a Cabinet Minister published a photograph on Twitter, of himself, handing an oversized replica of an Aadhaar card, with Aadhaar number disclosed, to a citizen. The tweet has since been deleted.

Kerala Scholarship Egrantz site was publishing student profiles with their Aadhaar number. This has since been fixed. Source: The News Minute. First reported by Malayalam Manorama, months ago.

Telangana government organisation Mahatma Jyotibha Phule Telangana Backward Classes Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society publishes Aadhaar data of 4000 minority students, studying in 5th to 10th standard. Source: GoNews

Bihar’s Minority Welfare Department had published information on 30,000 students, including Aadhaar number and bank account number. Source: GoNews.

Punjab Minority Welfare Department had published Aadhaar related data, as well as bank account number, for 12,000 students on its website. Source: GoNews

March 2017:

Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is leaking Aadhaar number and personal data of Swatchh Bharat Mission beneficiaries. Source: @gggodhwani on Twitter. We’ve verified this independently and have screenshots

Ministry of HRD had published excel sheets with user Aadhaar information. These have since been removed. Source: MediaNama

Cricketer MS Dhoni’s Aadhaar details were tweeted by an enrolment agency on 28th of March 2017. Source: DailyO

February 2017:

Telangana: A government agency published Aadhaar information for 500,000-600,000 children. Srinivas Kodali, who discovered this, declined to disclose the name of the agency.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]However, officials have held Aadhaar data to be secure and denied any possibility of CIA being able to access Aadhaar data, say media reports.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

PM Modi says change in government certain in Chhattisgarh

According to PM Modi, the second Parivartan Yatra was launched from Jashpur in north Chhattisgarh on September 15 while the first one left Dantewada in south Chhattisgarh on September 12.



PM Modi

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the closing ceremony of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) two Parivartan Yatras in Bilaspur. This is PM Modi’s third trip to the state, which is governed by the Congress and will host assembly elections later this year.

The Prime Minister attacked the Bhupesh Baghel-led governance during a public rally by claiming that Chhattisgarh is steeped in corruption and misrule. Every plan of the Congress government contains a fraud.

According to PM Modi, the second Parivartan Yatra was launched from Jashpur in north Chhattisgarh on September 15 while the first one left Dantewada in south Chhattisgarh on September 12.

Before reaching their conclusion in Bilaspur, both yatras covered a distance of more than 3,000 km over 87 assembly segments (out of the total 90), he said, and included 83 Swagat Sabhas (welcome gatherings), four roadshows, and several public meetings.

The Maoist-affected districts of Bijapur, Sukma, and Antagarh are not on the schedule, although residents from these districts participated in the yatra when it went through their neighbouring districts.

The party officials and employees spirits were unaffected by the rain, he said, and they joyfully took part in the two yatras, which attracted a large number of people.

According to Sao, who expressed confidence that the Congress will be defeated in the 2019 elections, the two yatras, in which almost 50 lakh people participated, have converted the tide of change into a storm.

The program’s location has been heavily fortified with security, according to the police. There will be a total of 1,500 security personnel deployed, including police officers, members of the Special Protection Group (SPG), members of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force, and members of the National Security Guard (NSG).

According to a police, a three-kilometer radius around the city has been designated a no-fly zone, and anti-drone weaponry have also been deployed in anticipation of the PM’s visit.

The Congress gave the BJP, which had been in power for 15 years under Raman Singh, a crushing loss in the 2018 assembly elections. The BJP had only won 15 seats, while the Congress had won 68. There are 71 seats in the current Congress.

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India News

Punjab: Farmer’s rail roko protest enters 3rd day, disrupts train services

Many trains have been cancelled, short-terminated, or diverted as a result of the unrest, according to railway officials.



Punjab Farmer

The rail roko protest of Punjabi farmers demanding MSP legal protection, a broad debt relief, and compensation for crops damaged in the recent floods began its third day today.

Many trains have been cancelled, short-terminated, or diverted as a result of the unrest, according to railway officials.

As part of their three-day agitation, the farmers have been blocking railway tracks at various locations in Faridkot, Samrala, Moga, Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Tarn Taran, Sangrur, Patiala, Ferozepur, Bathinda, and Amritsar since Thursday.

In Punjab and Haryana, the protest has halted hundreds of rail passengers.

A train passenger at the Ludhiana station claimed that he had travelled by road from Jalandhar City in order to board a train to Gorakhpur, but the arrival time of the train was unknown.

Another passenger at the station claimed that the Amritsar-bound train that was scheduled to carry 12 members of his family to Bihar had to be cancelled due to the unrest.

Later, they discovered that the family had journeyed by road from Amritsar and that the train would leave from Ludhiana. He continued, however, there has still been no update on the train.

According to officials, the Ambala and Ferozepur railway divisions have suffered specifically as a result of the farmers’ unrest.

The Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee, Bharti Kisan Union (Krantikari), Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Azaad), Azaad Kisan Committee, Doaba, Bharti Kisan Union (Behramke), Bharti Kisan Union (Shaheed Bhagat Singh), and Bharti Kisan Union (Chottu Ram) are among the farmer organisations taking part in the three-day demonstration.

The angry farmers have stated that the three-day protest will end on Saturday.

Their requests include a financial aid package for those in north India hit by floods, a statutory guarantee of the minimum support price (MSP) for all crops, and a farmer debt forgiveness programme.

The Swaminathan Commission report’s proposals for MSP and a 50,000 crore flood relief package for the states of northern India are what the farmers are asking for.

In addition, they want the debt of all farmers and labourers to be forgiven, as well as compensation of Rs 10 lakh and a government job for the families of each farmer killed during the protests against the three farm laws that have since been repealed.

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India News

Sankalp Saptaah: PM Modi today launches week-long initiative for aspirational blocks at Bharat Mandapam

The country’s Sankalp Saptah programme, which is being implemented in 500 aspirational blocks throughout 329 districts, seeks to increase block-level government while also improving civilian quality of life.



Sankalp Saptaah

At Bharat Mandapam in New Delhi on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced a week-long project named Sankalp Saptaah for the country’s aspirational groups.

He also conversed with attendees, including members from the panchayat and the block level.

The week-long programme, which is described in an official news release, is closely correlated with the national Aspirational Blocks Programme (ABP), which Modi introduced in January of this year.

The country’s Sankalp Saptah programme, which is being implemented in 500 aspirational blocks throughout 329 districts, seeks to increase block-level government while also improving civilian quality of life.

Chintan Shivirs were held nationwide at the village and block levels to help with the effective execution of the ABP and to create strong block development strategies. The result of these careful considerations, which will be seen in each of the 500 aspirational blocks, is Sankalp Saptaah.

On October 9, the final day of the seven-day event, a celebration of the week’s worth of effort will take place under the banner of Sankalp Saptaah – Samavesh Samaroh.

Speaking at the inaugural function, the prime minister claimed that more than 25 crore people’s lives in 112 districts throughout the nation had been improved by the aspirational districts plan. He asserted that the quality of living had changed. Now, the aspirational blocks programme will be built on the success of the aspirational districts programme, he said.

According to the statement, about 3,000 panchayat and block level functionaries and representatives of the people are expected to attend the inaugural event at Bharat Mandapam, in addition to about two lakh farmers, block and panchayat level functionaries, and people from other walks of life who will participate virtually.

Starting on October 3 and running through October 9, each day of Sankalp Saptaah is devoted to a distinct development subject on which all aspirational blocks will focus. Sampoorna Swasthya, Suposhit Pariwaar, Swachhta, Krishi, Shiksha, and Samridhi Diwas are some of the themes for the first six days, according to the statement.

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