Archive for the ‘India’ Category

“Imitation is the highest form of flattery.” 
– Coco Chanel 

ABU DHABI – The Emirates Identity Authority (Eida) has fixed a five-year validity period for Emirati national ID cards because of the five-year life span of the electronic chip in the card, the authority explained yesterday in a statement.

BTC – It looks like the US’s ID card contract loss is UAE’s gain to incorporate technologies in national ID cards. The Saudis put in a purchase order ID cards from US companies.  Regardless of US foreign relations standards in the middle east, you would hope a little bit more of that Egyptian style of populist push back would infect the UAE.

The escalated potential of being singled out as an undesirable by the State is the fate of any resident who adopts the national ID card. Disenfranchised groups are usually the first to opt-out of such a system.

For example:

“Bedouins also complain that the government has marginalised them from modern Egyptian society. Today, many do not hold national ID cards and are more loyal to their tribal chiefs than the state.”   c/o Al Jazeerah

Here is second life for International news that matters:

INDIA: UIDAI identity authorities manipulated pilot test results to necessitate national ID contracts

UK: London council makes world’s first citizen data transfer

US: United States reneges on SWIFT financial data privacy agreement

Remember what happened under Indira Ghandi’s census? 

Rajit Devraj/Interpress Service for Truthout

New Delhi – Fears about loss of privacy are being voiced as India gears up to launch an ambitious scheme to biometrically identify and number each of its 1.2 billion inhabitants.

In September, officials from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), armed with fingerprinting machines, iris scanners and cameras hooked to laptops, will fan out across the towns and villages of southern Andhra Pradesh state in the first phase of the project whose aim is to give every Indian a lifelong Unique ID (UID) number.

“The UID is soft infrastructure, much like mobile telephony, important to connect individuals to the broader economy,” explains Nandan Nilekani, chairman of the UIDAI and listed in 2009 by Time magazine as among the world’s 100 most influential people.

Nilekani is a co-founder of the influential National Association of Software and Services Companies and, before this assignment, chief of Infosys Technologies, flagship of India’s information technology (IT) sector.

According to Nilekani, the UID will most benefit India’s poor who, because they lack identity documentation, are ignored by service providers.

“The UID number, with its ‘anytime, anywhere’ biometric authentication, addresses the problem of trust,” argues Nilekani.

But a group of prominent civil society organisations are running a Campaign For No-UID, explaining that it is a “deeply undemocratic and expensive exercise” that is “fraught with unforeseen consequences.”

Participants in the campaign include well-known human rights organisations such as the Alternative Law Forum, Citizen Action Forum, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Indian Social Action Forum, and the Centre for Internet and Society. :::MORE HERE:::

Related News: Bank of Baroda inks pact with UIDAI for data collection

Here is second life for news that matters.

BOSTON TEA PARTY OPPOSES NATIONAL ID,  PERIOD. I guess national id cards are officially unamerican.  That doesn’t mean they aren’t still trying to sell the EDL in Michigan.  Florida is fighting it.  Downsize D.C. amid coalition efforts wants their repeal.  Real ID after 5 years is still getting consistently bad press from the blogosphere.

Facecrook’s Mark Zuckerberg, dubbed Little Caesar, waits for someone to defend his privacy.  We hope for a different haircut and to know how much money is awarded to the person who sues the pants off of him …. again.

Facebook as Caesar

GPS tracks again… that’s what it does.  Now it gets your kids and the prisoners.  All sitting prospects in the public-private target range for the gubmint market.  I’ll bet you’re really surprised. Commentary by EFF.

FUSION CENTER UPDATE:  CIR reports… Special word goes out to the Electronic Privacy Information Center.  What do they do? They provide information about Electronic Privacy. It’s awesome when they do.

Alternet tackles naked body scanners on the street in broad daylight. God, what a weird feeling that must have been…

STATUS: We are wondering about the individual mandate for a national healthcare ID.

India’s issues with the Unique Identification Authority of India.  FYI…Don’t buy a cell phone in China...

BEIJING — China wants people who buy new cell phone numbers to register their personal details, joining many European and Asian countries in curbing the anonymous use of mobile technology.

There have been some changes to  FISA,  warrentless cell or telephone tapping are up for PUBLIC INPUT until OCTOBER 24, 2010.   I’m TELLIN’!!

Germany’s national ID cards move to contactless technology citing NXP as national ID card chip of choice.  c/o Contactless News

“The German government has selected NXP as the supplier of an inlay solution containing a SmartMX chip, packaged in an ultra-thin module. Issuance of German contactless ID cards, which will replace the current paper-based IDs, will start in November. More than 60 million cards are expected to be rolled out over the next ten years.”

FLOGGER Jim Harper takes you on an East German train ride and makes some connection you may have missed.

Denver has a nasty case of Bad Cop according to ProLibertate. However, here’s a report causing cognative dissonance in the deliverance of justice in a UK case where CCTV got a bad cop off the streets.

c/o Wall Street Journal

NEW DELHI — The tech chieftain leading India’s effort to issue biometric national ID cards to its 1.2 billion people says the first challenge he faces isn’t technological — it’s political.

Nandan Nilekani stepped down as co-chairman of outsourcing giant Infosys Ltd. in June to take over the massive government project, collecting information on its citizens and helping India’s poor get access to services that require proof of identity, from government wheat rations to mobile-phone subscriptions. The initiative requires basic personal details and biometric data such as fingerprints to be collected from every corner of the country and safeguarded from hackers.

Critics are questioning various aspects of the ID project, including its cost, its technological feasibility and the security of identity records stored in the government’s central database. The government has earmarked $25 million in the current fiscal year to get the project going. Outside estimates of the full cost of completing the ID database range from $2 billion to $30 billion. Mr. Nilekani declined to provide an estimate. ::: MORE HERE:::


A national DNA databank can help an investigator handling a blind crime, but human rights concerns and a huge backlog of cases are major hurdles.

A recent case in the U.S. highlights how a well-managed national DNA databank can come to the rescue of an investigator handling an otherwise blind crime. It relates to the disappearance of Laura Garza, a 25-year-old Brooklyn woman, in December 2008. (According to a MySpace notice, she is yet to be traced.) She was last seen alive in the company of one Michael Mele (23), who was arrested a few days after Laura went missing for an entirely unrelated offence of lewd sexual behaviour in public and in the immediate presence of a child. Mele was found to have a criminal record for sexual deviance, and traces of DNA picked up from his car (in which he travelled with Laura) and the damaged carpet of his house cooked his goose. Laura or her remains, if Mele did murder her, are yet to be traced. But all evidence points to Mele’s participation in the episode. There are any number of such clueless cases having been solved by the police in many parts of the world, and courts have been convinced with the DNA evidence adduced by the prosecution.

However, two major problems make the use of DNA evidence a tortuous exercise: a huge backlog of cases awaiting laboratory results and human rights concerns of the ever-enlarging DNA databases. In these days of extreme mobility, it does not make sense to construct and manage a narrow database of only local criminals and suspects.

Both the U.K. and the U.S. have nationwide databases of DNA profiles, in addition to local ones. Notwithstanding India’s population of more than a billion, it seems expedient to attempt such a database in India. Nandan Nilekani’s Unique ID number project can possibly throw up ideas for the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for designing a national DNA database. :::MORE HERE:::



The Government of India plans to issue Unique Identification Card to all Indian citizens, under the national ID program, with an estimated to cost around Rs 150,000 cr.

The project will be led by hi-tech entrepreneur Nandan Nilekani and is based on computer application called SCOSTA.

The biometric smart card will have personal details related to retina, fingerprints, credit histories, name, sex, address, marital status, photo, identification mark and criminal background details (if any). These details will be linked to a central online database or repository.

The creation of UID was one of the major agenda in UPA government manifesto during the recent elections.

The issue of identification cards is a move towards better governance (e-governance). It is expected to elevate bureaucratic tangles with a single identity card issued to a person. Presently there are different identity cards issued to a single person, some of which are valid /applicable at all times.

The card can serve multiple purposes like its use as voter ID card and proof for opening new bank accounts. It will also help to check illegal immigration and curb terrorism.

Nandan Nilekani, aged 54, is one of the founding members of Bangalore-based software giant- Infosys Technologies. To avoid conflict of interest, Nilekani will step down from the chairmanship of Infosys and will serve Unique Identification Authority of India.

BTC Exclusive

National-to-global identity ambitions took the stage last week as India, world leaders in overachievement, have sought to surpass both the U.S. & U.K. to get identity to their population of 1.2 billion people. 

Another “reevaluation hearing”, strikingly similar to Wednesday’s Real ID hearing in Washington, took place the previous week [7/8].  U.K. national identity resisters, No2id, report from across the pond.

All In An Opposition Day’s Debate 
[Adapted from No2id reports]
Statutory instruments passed for United Kingdom identity 
UNITED KINGDOM – A House of Commons [comparable to the U.S. Senate] debate took place July 8th on ID card regulations and legislation.  The House of Lords [comparable to House of Representatives] greenlighted draft legislation for The Identity Cards Act of 2006, passing regulations. They simltaneously kicked the can down the road Monday for regard of public input, leaving it up to a change of the guard. 

They released this statement, “That this House regrets the Government’s decision to proceed with the draft Identity Cards Act 2006 […] Regulations 2009 before the case for continued investment in the identity cards project has been put to the British people at a general election”. 
NO2 ID, reported earlier dialogue, July 6th, prior to the decision making.

Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling MP said, “We might be in a position in which, in order to allow people to travel to the United States, we need to process biometric data and to pursue the introduction of biometric passports. We have not backed away from the biometric passport option […] However, it is not our intention to proceed with a compulsory national identity register”.   

Grayling seemed to suggest that the Tory party would store biometric data in a central passport database but Christopher Huhne MP challenged this.

“I am not sure that I would accept that it is necessary to store biometric data.  After all, the document would have the biometric data and it is anadditional guarantee of veracity. Why is it necessary to go one step  further and store it centrally?”

>>WATCH COMMONS DEBATE HERE::: [Windows Download for Mac/PC]

Cost claims stir ID cards debate

The House of Commons last week debated identity cards for the first time in two-and-a-half years after the Conservatives proposed a motion for the government to abandon the scheme.

As expected, the motion was defeated, but the debate proved instructive in outlining both the government’s and the opposition’s attitude to what has proved a controversial scheme in two key areas –  what will it cost and what the alternatives are.

The Tories and Liberal Democrats have argued that in times of fiscal constraint, the £4.9bn scheme must be abandoned  – although they are ideologically opposed to the plan as well.

But scrapping ID cards will not simply save £4.9bn. According to the latest cost estimates confirmed to Computing by the Home Office this week, £3.6bn of spending on the scheme supports the issue of passports ­ – a measure that none of the political parties opposes. So ending the scheme will save £1.3bn at most.

But the issue is complicated further by home secretary Alan Johnson’s claims that this £1.3bn would be recovered by the charges levied for cards. ::MORE HERE::