Subordinate legislation for Biometric Identity Card NRIC and Aadhaar/UID is illegal & illegitimate

To

Shri P. Karunakaran,
Chairperson
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Subordinate Legislation
Parliament of India
New Delhi

Subject-Subordinate legislation for Biometric Identity Card NRIC and Aadhaar/UID is illegal & illegitimate

Sir,

This is with reference to your question in the Lok Sabha on March 12, 2013 regarding biometric identity card, orders of Punjab and Haryana High Court dated February 19, 2013 and March 2, 2013 in the matter of Civil Writ Petition 569 of 2013 filed in the High Court against Union of India and others, my petition to you dated March 15, 2012, the the revealing report of Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Finance that was presented its 42nd Report on the National Identification Authority of India (NIDAI) Bill 2010, to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on 13 December, 2011 and the act of illegitimate subordinate legislation in the matter of electronic National Population Register (NPR), National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC), Multipurpose National Identity Card (MPNIC) and Aadhaar (Unique Identification Number-UID).

I submit that you had asked the Union Minister of Home Affairs to inform "whether photo identity cards containing biometric details similar to those given in the Aadhaar Cards are to be issued by the Census Commissioner". With regard to biometric details the reply that was provided by the Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs states, "...the Government has decided that the NPR enrolments will continue as envisaged but if in the course of enrolment, a person indicates she/he is already enrolled for Aadhaar, the biometric data will not be captured for NPR. Instead the Aadhaar number will be recorded in NPR and the biometric data will be sourced from the UIDAI."

I submit that the reply appears incomplete the conflicting role of the Census Commissioner under the Census Act, 1948 and his role as Registrar General of India. It does not reveal that the Report of Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Finance has specifically raised questions about the legality of the collection of biometrics while creating a citizen/resident data base. The Report reads (in the section on ‘Observations/Recommendations): “The collection of biometric information and its linkage with personal information without amendment to the Citizenship Act 1955 as well as the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules 2003, appears to be beyond the scope of subordinate legislation, which needs to be examined in detail by Parliament.” The 48 page report is attached.

I submit that collection of biometric data is allowed only under Identification of Prisoner Act, 1920, an Act to authorize the taking of measurements and photographs of convicts and others. Unlike in the case of UID/Aadhaar and NPR Even under this law the collected biometric data like fingerprints has to be destroyed at the time of the acquittal of the prisoner. In the case of electronic NPR, NRIC, MPNIC and Aadhaar/UID, the biometric data being collected will be stored for ever as if citizens are worse than prisoners. It is noteworthy that biometric data has not been defined. As a consequence, it includes the possibility of collecting DNA profile and Voice sample as well. The Identification of Prisoner Act, 1920 at page 19 and 20 of Prisons Act, 1894 available on the website of Union Ministry of Home Affairs and Draft Human DNA Profiling Bill, 2012 are attached

I submit that in February 2010, the UIDAI issued a “notice inviting applications for hiring a biometric consultant”, which contained this candid admission: “While NIST [National Institute of Standards and Technology, the United States agency that studies biometrics technology in the context of its application to public policy] documents the fact that the accuracy of biometric matching is extremely dependent on demographics and environmental conditions, there is a lack of a sound study that documents the accuracy achievable on Indian demographics (i.e., larger percentage of rural population) and in Indian environmental conditions (i.e., extremely hot and humid climates and facilities without air-conditioning). In fact we do not find any credible study assessing the achievable accuracy in any of the developing countries”.

I submit that between March and June 2010, the UIDAI did a proof of concept (PoC) study of biometric enrolment. The report, uploaded in February 2011, concluded that it had “validated one hypothesis regarding biometric enrolment”—that iris enrolment was “not particularly difficult” and “dramatically improved” accuracy levels and the “accuracy levels necessary for the de-duplication of all residents of India are achievable”. But what sticks out is a paragraph in the report: “The goal of the PoC was to collect data representative of India and not necessarily to find difficult-to-use biometrics. Therefore, extremely remote rural areas, often with populations specialising in certain types of work (tea plantation workers, areca nut growers, etc.) were not chosen. This ensured that degradation of biometrics characteristics of such narrow groups was not over-represented in the sample data collected.”

I submit that in March 2012, the UIDAI readied its report, “Role of Biometric Technology in Aadhaar Authentication”. It may be noted that authentication is the process by which a person’s biometric detail is used to establish or verify his or her identity.

I submit that the report dislodges the common assumption that the print of the thumb and the index finger can be used to identify a person. It appears that for 55 per cent of those tested, these fingers did not work as their “best finger”. The report recommends a “Best Finger Detection” process. “The best finger to be used for authentication depends on the intrinsic qualities of the finger (for example, ridge formation, how worn out they are, cracked, etc.) as well as the quality of images captured during enrolment process and the authentication transaction,” it says. The fingers are, therefore, to be labelled green, yellow or red, depending on their suitability for single-finger authentication. In addition, some residents could be determined to be “not suitable for reliable fingerprint authentication”.

I submit that the report does not reveal  how “biometric exemptions”—that is, people who do not have reliable fingerprints or irises that can be used in enrolment—will be treated. Nor does it spell out an alternative to help secure their identity. Nor, indeed, does it speak of spoofing.

I submit that on September 30, 2011, J.T. D’Souza, managing director of SPARC Systems Limited, who works with biometrics equipment and has been following the UID project closely and critically, demonstrated to officials in the Planning Commission how, using some Fevicol and candle wax, he could spoof a fingerprint and use it to authenticate someone else.

I submit that the “Iris Authentication Accuracy Report” was published in September 2012. It starts with the assumption that “the iris does not get worn out with age, or with use. In addition, iris authentication is not impacted by change in the weather.” The report attributes these assumptions to “iris technology literature”. This assumption that there is a part of the human body that neither ages nor withers nor wears out is deeply flawed.

I submit that on Rajya Sabha TV Dr. M Vijayanunni, Former Registrar General and Census Commissioner underlined on February 2, 2013 why China gave up a similar exercise. His views are available on:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpe37lkGDkQ

I submit that there is a petition filed by Justice K S Puttaswamy, former judge of the Karnataka High Court in the Supreme Court of India is scheduled to be heard on March 14, 2013. There are PILs pending in the Highs Courts in Mumbai and Chennai as well. 

I submit that unmindful of observation of the Parliamentary Committee about the illegality of the collection of biometric data, the National Population Register (NPR), a comprehensive identity database based on biometric details is unfolding under the Registrar General of India who is ex officio Census Commissioner of India, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

I submit that the unanimous decision of 17 judges of European Court of Human Rights dated December 4, 2008 ruled against the violation of the right to privacy and family life by biometric profile retention in databanks, they found that the “blanket and indiscriminate nature” of the power of retention of the fingerprints, cellular samples, and DNA profiles of persons suspected but not convicted of offenses, failed to strike a fair balance between competing public and private interests and ruled that the United Kingdom had “overstepped any acceptable margin of appreciation” in this regard. This decision is relevant for UPA Government’s UID, National Population Register (NPR), Human DNA Profiling and voice print through Radio Frequency Identification (RFID).  The decision of the European Court of Human Rights is available here: http://www.bailii.org/eu/cases/ECHR/2008/1581.html

I submit that A "Strategic Vision on the UIDAI Project" was prepared and submitted to this Committee by M/S Wipro Ltd (Consultant for the design phase and program management phase of the Pilot UIDAI project). It envisaged the close linkage that the UIDAI would have to the electoral database. The Committee also appreciated the need of a UIDAI Authority to be created by an executive order under the aegis of the Planning Commission to ensure a pan-departmental and neutral identity for the authority and at the same time enable a focused approach to attaining the goals set for the XI Plan. The Seventh Meeting of the Process Committee on 30 August 2007 decided to furnish to the Planning commission a detailed proposal based on the resource model for seeking its "in principle" approval.  At the same time, the Registrar General of India was engaged in the creation of the National Population Register and issuance of Multi-purpose National Identity Cards to citizens of India. Reference: http://uidai.gov.in/about-uidai.html

I submit that Dr Usha Ramanathan, a noted jurist states: "The NPR does not yet have the legal authority to collect iris and fingerprints. An executive order is not enough, and a circular is as useless. They are actually acting contrary to the law. The Citizenship Act has a provision, since 2004, for a NPR, and it says that the information has to be collected according to the rules. The Citizenship Rules DO NOT provide for collecting fingerprints and iris scan. Ask them to show you the Rules that give them this authority. You have a right to ask them to do that. And the Parliamentary Standing Committee too had said that collection of fingerprints and iris scan should not proceed without parliamentary debate and approval of such collection and use. The NPR is expressly linked up the UID. The information will be passed on to the UIDAI who will then process and issue numbers. This is how the UID project started, and, after the January agreement between Nilekani and Chidambaram, they have shared data collection for the UID 50/50!! So, this is a lie, if it is to be gently stated. This is one project that clearly reveals that: ·  the state does not consider itself bound  by law or rules
·  entities get created which have a status that is undefinable and we are asked to hand over our data to them, ·  and biometrics are, as even the UIDAI's own report shows, extremely defective, yet they are sending good money after bad because decisions are being made that this should just continue, ·  lies, propaganda and marketing jargon are replacing public debate, ·  and threatening and bullying -- like, you will be punished, or excluded, or won’t get services -- are being used to force us to do things no one has any business asking us to do. Which is also why we can't participate."

I submit that Census Commissioner-Registrar General of India (RGI) for National Population Register (NPR), Union Ministry of Home Affairs is violating the Census Act, 1948 that promised confidentiality of data by undertaking collecting data for NPR which is admittedly not confidential. The entrusting of RGI's responsibility on Census Commissioner also constitutes an act of illegitimate subordinate legislation. 

I submit that responding to the direction issued to the Union of India and Union Territory of Chandigarh by Punjab and Haryana High Court in the matter of Civil Writ Petition 569 of 2013 filed in the High Court against Union of India and others, the Executive Order for making Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar has been withdrawn. The affidavit of the Union Territory of Chandigarh withdrawing its Executive Order is attached.

I submit that in its order the bench of Justice A K Sikri, Chief Justice and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain dated February 19, 2013 had not noted that the petition “raises a pure question of law.”  Since the Executive Order was withdrawn, the case too was disposed of March 2, 2013 with a two page order. The order is attached.

The Order observes, “In this writ petition filed as PIL, the petitioner has challenged the vires of notification issued by Union of India for making it compulsory to have UID Cards. Admittedly, this issue is pending before the Supreme Court and therefore, on
the last date of hearing i.e. on 19.2.2013, we did not observe anything on this issue.”

It is further observed that “Second issue raised in this petition is that vide order dated 5.12.2012, respondent No.3 i.e. Deputy Commissioner, U.T., Chandigarh has given directions to the Branch In charge Registration-cum-Accountant, office of Registering & Licensing Authority, Chandigarh not to accept any application for registration of vehicle and grant of learner/regular driving licence without UID card.” 

It is quite bizarre that Union Territory of Chandigarh remains ignorant of the fact that UID is not a card, it is a 12 digit number based on biometric data. The entire government machinery is hiding the fact that fundamentally UID is not a proof of identity, it is an identifier contained in the Central Identities Data Repository (CIDR) of (UID)/Aadhaar Numbers. Union Territory of Chandigarh failed to inform the Court the UID is not a card but an identification number based on biometric data without any legal mandate. 

The petition had made the following prayers:   i)    Issue a writ in the nature of certiorari to quash Executive order dated 5.12.2012 passed by respondent no.3  passed in violation of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 vide which  UID has been mandatory for the registration of vehicles  and grant of learner/ regular driving licence.

ii)         a writ in the nature of mandamus directing Union of India to accept other proofs of Identity and address i.e. Voter I-Card issued by Election Commission of India, the Constitutional body and Passport issued by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Govt. of India and other proofs of address, age prescribed under Rule 4 of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 for issuance of learning/ regular driving licence and for registration of vehicle;

iii) Further it sought direction for Union Territory of Chandigarh and Union of India not to make mandatory UID for essential public Utility Services and accept other documents as proof of Identity and address as per the Rules;

iv)        a writ in the nature of certiorari quashing notification dated 28.1.2009 being illegal and further issuance of a appropriate writ declaring the Unique Identification Authority of India constituted vide Notification dated 28.1.2009 unconstitutional as the same has no legal sanctity as the UIDAI been constituted and functioning illegally as the National Identification Authority of India Bill-2010 is pending in the Parliament of India.

The writ petition had emphasized that during the pendency of the petition Executive order dated December 5, 2012 and other similar executive orders vide which Adhaar have been made compulsory for essential public utility services may kindly be stayed.

In its concluding paragraph the March 2, 2013 order of the High Court reads, “Today, short affidavit of Mr.M.Shayin, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, UT, Chandigarh is filed stating that the aforesaid instructions have been reviewed and now the insistence of UID card is no longer treated as mandatory. No further orders are required to be passed in this petition, which is accordingly disposed of.”

I submit that in the Budget Speech 2013-14 announced that “We are redoubling our efforts to ensure that the digitized beneficiary lists are available; that a bank account is opened for each beneficiary; and that the bank account is seeded with Aadhaar in due course.” In the light of the PSC report and the High Court’s order, the implementation of opening of bank accounts seeded with UID/Aadhaar is legally and constitutionally questionable and is in contempt of Parliament. 

I submit that Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance has rejected the UID/Aadhaar project and the related UID Bill in its report to the Parliament dated December 13, 2011.

I submit that it is noteworthy that UID Number is linked to the Section and 10 and 36 of the proposed Land Titling Bill as well.

I submit that Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL) has been campaigning against unregulated biometric, surveillance and identification technology companies since 2010 and had appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee, Finance in this regard. CFCL has consistently underlined that the silence of the States which are quite vocal about threats to federal structure and citizens' rights from Union Home Ministry‘s National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) that integrates 21 sets of databases in the matter of the creation of UID’s Centralized Identities Data Register (CIDR) disregarding the fact that Planning Commission’s CIDR and Home Ministry’s National Population Register (NPR) is inexplicable.

I submit that the 38 contracts awarded to companies and agencies whose names have been declared by UIDAI include:  HCL Infosystems Ltd, HP India Sales Pvt Ltd, Wipro Ltd, MAC Associates, National Informatics Centre Services Inc.,  Sagem Morpho Security Pvt. Ltd (Safran Group),  Totem International Ltd, Linkwell Telesystems Pvt. Ltd,  Sai Infosystem (India) Ltd, Geodesic Ltd, I D Solutions, NISG, STQC,  Aircel, Bharti Airtel Ltd, BSNL, RailTel Corporation of India Ltd, Reliance Communications, Tata Communications, Satyam Computer Services Ltd. (Mahindra Satyam in a consortium with Safran Group), L1 Identity Solutions Operating Company(Safran),  Accenture Services Pvt. Ltd, Percept H. Pvt. Ltd (Media),  Intelenet Global Services,  Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Mindtree Ltd., Ernst & Young,  4G Identity Solution Pvt. Ltd, e-Smart Systems Pvt. Ltd and Base Systems Pvt. Ltd. These companies and agencies are helping implementation of biometric data based UID idea. Some of these companies like Wipro Ltd have been awarded at least 4 contracts ignoring manifest conflict of interest. 

I submit that the action of Union Government disregards not only the recommendations of PSC on Finance but also your recommendations in the report on "Non-implementation of oft-repeated recommendations of Committee on Subordinate legislation, Lok Sabha by various ministries”, which was titled confidential.

In view of the above, I wish to earnestly request you to intervene to stop the efforts following illegitimate subordinate legislation in the matter of electronic NPR, NRIC, MPNIC and Aadhaar/UID that seeks to structurally alter the relationship between citizens and the state and transform the citizens into subjects.

I will be happy to share relevant reference documents in this regard.

Thanking You

Yours faithfully
Gopal Krishna
Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL)
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)
New Delhi, Phone: 2651781, Fax: 26517814
Mb: 9818089660  


Cc
Hon'ble Members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Subordinate Legislation
Hon'ble Members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs
Hon'ble Members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance
Hon'ble Members of Public Accounts Committee
Hon'ble Members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture
Hon'ble Members of Parliament
Shri Sukhi Chand Chaudhary, Director, PSC on Subordinate Legislation

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Gopal Krishna
Date: Thu, Mar 15, 2012 at 5:42 PM
Subject: Illegitimate Subordinate Legislation in the matter of NPR, NRIC, MPNIC and Aadhaar
To: sukhi.chand@sansad.nic.in
Cc: pkarunakaranmp@gmail.com, banerjee.kalyan@sansad.nic.in, kalyanbanerjee@hotmail.com, basheeret@gmail.com, basheer.et@sansad.nic.in, ramenguwahati@yahoo.co.in, virenderkashyapbjp@yahoo.co.in, virendra.kashyap@sansad.nic.in, mausam_bnoor@yahoo.co.in, vbsallahabad@gmail.com, rsc-ha@sansad.nic.in, charyulu@sansad.nic.in, mvnaidu@sansad.nic.in, javed.akhtar@sansad.nic.in, tariqa@sansad.nic.in, maitreyan@sansad.nic.in, ysinha2005@hotmail.com, ysinha@sansad.nic.in, murli@sansad.nic.in, bacharya@sansad.nic.in, ssa@sansad.nic.in, tengrg@gmail.com, bmahtab@sansad.nic.in, syquraishi@eci.gov.in


To

Shri P. Karunakaran,
Chairperson
Parliamentary Standing Committee on Subordinate Legislation
Parliament of India
New Delhi

Through Shri Sukhi Chand Chaudhary, Director, PSC on Subordinate Legislation 

March 15, 2012

Subject-Illegitimate Subordinate Legislation in the matter of electronic National Population Register (NPR), National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC), Multipurpose National Identity Card (MPNIC) and Aadhaar (Unique Identification Number-UID)

Sir,

This is with reference to the revealing report of Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Finance that presented its 42nd Report on the National Identification Authority of India (NIDAI) Bill 2010, to the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on 13 December, 2011 and the act of illegitimate Subordinate Legislation in the matter of electronic National Population Register (NPR), National Register of Indian Citizens (NRIC), Multipurpose National Identity Card (MPNIC) and Aadhaar (Unique Identification Number-UID).

I submit that the Report of PSC on Finance specifically raises questions about the legality of the collection of biometrics while creating a citizen/resident data base. The Report reads (in the section on ‘Observations/Recommendations): “The collection of biometric information and its linkage with personal information without amendment to the Citizenship Act 1955 as well as the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules 2003, appears to be beyond the scope of subordinate legislation, which needs to be examined in detail by Parliament.” The 48 page report is attached.

I submit that unmindful of such categorical observation of the PSC on Finance, the National Population Register (NPR), a comprehensive identity database based on biometric details to be maintained by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, Union Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India is unfolding. It is claimed that the objective of creating this identity database is to helps in better utilization and implementation of the benefits and services under govt schemes, improve planning and improve security. The Government of India has initiated the creation of this database, by collecting specific information of all usual residents in the country during the House listing and Housing Census phase of Census 2011 during April 2010 to September 2010. It is planned that the collected information of the Usual Residency (aged 5 and above) of 17 states and 2 Union Territories (UTs) will now be digitized, and biometric data will be collected from these residents for further integration.

I submit that NPR project being spearheaded by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs is aimed at creation of a comprehensive identity database without any democratic mandate for it. The NPR project consists of two components: demographic data digitization of all the usual residents and biometric enrollment of all such residents who are aged five and above. The Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, has entrusted the work of demographic data digitization and biometric enrollment to the Department of Information Technology (DIT).

I submit that Subordinate Legislation done by framing Rules under the Information Technology Act 2000 merits examination.

I submit that the entire exercise will lead to the creation of an electronic database of all residents (containing the demographic and biometric details). As per the newsletter (February 2012) of DIT, demographic data – refers to the personal information collected during Census 2011 by the Census Enumerators based on the data fields prescribed by the Registrar General of India (RGI) for the NPR Schedules and by following the process laid down for the purpose and biometric data – refers to the facial image, iris scan of both eyes and ten fingerprints of enrollees collected by the Enrolment Agency.

I submit that Census Commissioner-RGI, Union Ministry of Home Affairs is violating the Census Act, 1948 that promised confidentiality of data by undertaking collecting data for NPR which is admittedly not confidential. The entrusting of RGI's responsibility on Census Commissioner also constitutes an act of illegitimate subordinate legislation. 

I submit that 'Technology Intervention of National Significance Award' under 'Skoch Digital Inclusion Awards 2011' instituted by Skoch Consultancy Services Private Limited's Foundation that was presented to Dr C Chandramouli, Registrar General & Census Commissioner on September 1, 2011 at Hotel Shangri La, New Delhi appears to have been done as a reward for conniving at the violation of Census Act with impunity. The jury which awarded it seem to suffer from conflict of interest since some of the jury members are beneficiaries of contracts awarded by UIDAI which is linked to NPR. 

I submit that although the above action of the Union Home Ministry is “beyond the scope of subordinate legislation”, it has issued guidelines for collection of biometric data under the Citizenship Act 1955 and Citizenship Rules. It states that it is compulsory for every citizen of the country to register in the NRIC. The creation of the NPR is the first step towards preparation of the NRIC. It contends that out of the universal dataset of residents, the subset of citizens would be derived after due verification of the citizenship status. In the absence of any legislative mandate for such far reaching efforts, it cites to a recommendation of Group of Ministers (GoM) on the National Security system for Multipurpose National Identity Card (MPNIC) in 2001 for all citizens.

I submit that the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) headed by Capt. Ragu Raman appears linked to NPR and related efforts underway without any legislative mandate for it. An alarming paper 'A Nation of Numb People' authored by Capt. Ragu Raman in his previous assignment is attached.  

I submit that the Citizenship Rules set out the particulars in respect of every citizen to be contained in the National Register of Indian Citizens. It specifies 12 fields of information:

(i)  Name
(ii) Father’s name
(iii) Mother’s name
(iv) Sex
(v)  Date of birth
(vi) Place of birth
(vii) Residential address (present and permanent)
(viii) Marital status. If ever married, name of the spouse
(ix) Visible identification mark
(x)  Date of registration of citizen
(xi) Serial number of registration, and
(xii) National Identity Number.

It can be seen that biometric information is not required even as per the above provisions.

In response to a question, the DIT-NPR newsletter reveals that it requires information about 18 fields:
1. Name of Person
2. Relationship to head
3. Father's name
4. Mother's name
5. Spouse's name
6. Sex
7. Date of Birth
8. Marital Status
9. Place of Birth
10. Nationality as declared
11. Present address of usual residence
12. Duration of stay at present address
13. Permanent residential address
14. Occupation/ Activity
15. Educational qualification
16. Photograph
17. Ten Fingerprints (i.e. Prints of ten fingers of both hands)
18. 2 Iris Prints (prints of both eyes)

I submit that the biometric data required for NPR will be collected as per the processes and standards laid down by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), whose legality has been questioned by the PSC on Finance. The Aadhaar enrollment form that mentions NPR is attached

I submit that collection of biometric data is allowed only under Identification of Prisoner Act. Even under that law the collected biometric data like fingerprints has to be destroyed at the time of the acquittal of the prisoner. In the case of electronic NPR, NRIC, MPNIC and Aadhaar, the biometric data being collected will be stored for ever as if citizens are worse than prisoners. It is noteworthy that biometric data has not been defined. As a consequence, it includes the possibility of collecting DNA profile and Voice sample as well. Two articles explaining the same and Draft DNA Profiling Bill are attached.

I wish to inform that in Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram Corporation will be soon implementing a centrally sponsored RFID project across the city. An RFID tag will be installed at convenient location near the front door of each house within the Corporation area to enable the connectivity. A proposal to issue Radio Frequency Identification and Detection Card (RFIDC) to school students travelling in private vehicles is awaiting government nod.It was submitted by the Road Safety Authority of Kozhikode district to ensure the safety of school children. GPS in vehicles carrying students.

I wish to draw your attention towards what one information technology professional, Shri K.C. Ramakrishna from Bangalore wrote on PUCL webgroup: "My personal trigger to join PUCL is that the complex where I live is planning to enforce RFID tagging of residents to 'ensure security'. All residents (all family members) movements into and out of the society are being electronically logged. This is almost surveillance and this data is to be given to the police to help them. There is no transparency on how this data is accessed or used. I am trying to explore legal action against this. If this move is not challenged legally, it means all residential societies across India can monitor residents. i.e. Govt. need not conduct surveillance as they can "encourage" residential societies to do this on its behalf. There are threats to civil liberties even from private parties and not always from the Govt" on February 29, 2012. 

I submit that Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has approved RFID too in the matter of permission for the implementation of RFID based Electronic Toll Collection as per the recommendation of a committee headed by Milkeni to tagg all the vehicles with RFID and tracking their movement. It was reported in October 2011 that the scheme is expected to commence either on New Delhi-Chandigarh-Parwanu National Highway (NH) or New Delhi- Jalandhar NH.

I submit that the action of Union Home Ministry disregards not only the recommendations of PSC on Finance but also your recommendations in the report on “Non-implementation of oft-repeated recommendations of Committee on Subordinate legislation, Lok Sabha by various ministries”, which was titled confidential.

In view of the above, I wish to earnestly request you to intervene to stop the efforts following illegitimate Subordinate Legislation in the matter of electronic NPR, NRIC, MPNIC and Aadhaar that seeks to structurally change the relationship between citizens and the state.

I will be happy to share relevant reference documents in this regard.

Thanking You

Yours faithfully
Gopal Krishna
Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL)
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)
New Delhi, Phone: 2651781, Fax: 26517814
Mb: 9818089660  

Cc
Hon'ble Members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Subordinate Legislation
Hon'ble Members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs
Hon'ble Members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance
Hon'ble Members of Public Accounts Committee
Hon'ble Members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture
Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India  

Note: Surveillance State seems to be unfolding using National Population Register (NPR) for Multi-purpose Identity Card (MNIC), Unique Identification /Aadhaar Number, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), DNA Profiling, National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), NCTC, Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations, Electronic Services Delivery Law, amendments in Information Technology Act, Land Titling Bill, New Telecom Policy etc.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

MIsuse of Section 197, Code of Criminal Procedure

Questionable and illegal UIDAI completes four years

Journalists Demand for Third Press Commission, Indian National Congress Reluctant