Whistle-blower site WikiLeaks published reports on Thursday that claimed to “expose” that US-based Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is using tools devised by US-based technology provider Cross Match Technologies for cyber spying that may have comprised entire database of India’s Aadhaar. The claim was dismissed by official sources in India, which IndianWeb2 believes is run and managed by corrupt officials already.
WikiLeaks’ documents say that the US spy agency used ExpressLane, a tool devised by an agency called Cross Match Technologies — for the practice of spying.
Linking to an article on Cross Match’s Indian operations with its partner Smart Identity Devices Pvt Ltd — a New Delhi based company which has enrolled 1.2 million Indian citizens on the Aadhaar database, WikiLeaks tweeted on Friday:
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 25, 2017
Wikileaks further states that — under Aadhaar system Indian government is using “Cross Match” bio-metric system for storing data of its citizens and CIA had been using the same technology to access the unique identification data of Indian citizens that have enrolled for Aadhaar. And, the company (Cross Match) received certification for India’s massive UID national identity card biometric system now called as Aadhaar.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 24, 2017
“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,” said WikiLeaks on its website.
According to a recent study by Research and Markets, India’s biometrics market is forecast to hit about $2 billion by 2018. All this in hands of some foreign intelligence agency, is a thing that is horrific for over 1 billion citizen of India who have enrolled themselves to Aadhhar.
The GreatGameIndia website, which the Wikileaks has pointed out at, states, “It is remarkable that Aadhaar and Al-Qaeda mean the same thing, which is “foundation” — Manu Joseph pointed out this tweetable fact in his piece on Live Mint. What we might add is that it is also remarkable that both Aadhaar and Al Qaeda are illegitimate sons of the same mother”
Notably, the Supreme Court of India on Thursday ruled that the right to privacy was a fundamental right of every citizen. The apex court is now likely to hear the matter on whether the privacy argument linked to Aadhaar is justifiable.
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