Letter to Supreme Court (Architectural inconsistencies of UID/Aadhaar)

24-Apr-2017

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri
Hon’ble Mr. Justice Ashok Bhushan
Supreme Court of India,
New Delhi.

[Subject: Architectural inconsistencies of UID/Aadhaar]

Dear Sir,

I am addressing this letter to the Chief Justice of India and to judges of the Supreme Court hearing some of the present Aadhaar related petitions. While much has been said about the real intent of the Aadhaar programme being to set up an all pervasive surveillance state (which by the way is the hard truth), the focus of my letter here is to highlight the huge risks it poses, both to individuals and to the nation at large, primarily due to the specifics of its architecture.

1. The prevailing premise in govt. circles that every problem on earth will be solved by “linking to Aadhaar” has no basis. The UIDAI is in no position to verify the bona fides of any applicant, primarily because enrolment is completely outsourced to private agencies. The assumption that one person will be allowed only one Aadhaar no., due it being backed by biometrics, is applicable only to honest and law-abiding citizens. Otherwise it is most easy to obtain a fake Aadhaar no., against fake demographic information and fudged up biometrics. Such fraud is already happening for a small payment. The present exercise of linking the PAN database to Aadhaar will only replace one set of fake PANs with a new set of fake PANs, linked to fake Aadhaar nos. In fact allowing bank accounts to be opened and mobile SIM cards to be issued against Aadhaar has already compromised national interest irreparably. Without any independent verification or audit of the Aadhaar database, how can it be directly concluded that it will help curb fraud?

2. The smokescreen of biometric technology has unfortunately blinded many of the educated people of our country into believing that it is indeed a magic wand or a “marvel of technology”. A close understanding will reveal that in reality it is inherently unreliable and dangerous. The Aadhaar Act recognizes these limitations and risks and tries to cover up its tracks in ways that impose impossible conditions on citizens. Request your kind attention to the attached document (also published at https://thewire.in/119323/real-problem-aadhaar-lies-biometrics/), where I have explained in detail.

3. The inability of Aadhaar to serve as per its intended design has led to the UIDAI condoning the use of Aadhaar beyond its defined scope. It is being served as proof of address (through eKYC) and also as a physical “ID card”, neither of which are supported by design or even by the Aadhaar Act. Such usage is directly compromising whatever minimal verification we had earlier and is pushing our country into a security vacuum. Please refer to http://www.medianama.com/2017/03/223-aadhaar-basic-issues/ for further reading on this.

I will have to painfully state here that the Supreme Court’s handling of the Aadhaar matter till now has been most disappointing, to say the least. Its continued presence on the statute books is an emerging crisis of unimaginable proportions, from which there may be no deliverance at a later date. I pray that the highest court of this land restore the rule of sanity and common-sense, which is most important for the balance of power between the govt. and the people. Let us not fool ourselves into hoping that technical issues could be “fixed”, as the complexities are far more than mere technical issues. Aadhaar should be scrapped in its entirety, its promoters and backers through all these years should be charged with high treason. That is the only way justice can be delivered.

Regards.

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