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Government Privacy

Snowden Joins Outcry Against World's Biggest Biometric Database (bloomberg.com) 36

Former U.S. intelligence-contractor-turned whistleblower Edward Snowden joined critics of India's digital ID program as the nation's top court is due to decide on its legality. From a report: Snowden on Tuesday tweeted in support of an Indian journalist who faces police charges after she reported that personal details of over a billion citizens enrolled in the program could be illegally accessed for just $8 paid through a digital wallet. Named Aadhaar, the program is backed by the world's biggest biometric database, which its operator Unique Identification Authority of India, or UIDAI, says wasn't breached. Snowden tweeted, "The journalists exposing the Aadhaar breach deserve an award, not an investigation. If the government were truly concerned for justice, they would be reforming the policies that destroyed the privacy of a billion Indians. Want to arrest those responsible? They are called @UIDAI."
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Snowden Joins Outcry Against World's Biggest Biometric Database

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  • 1) When reporting vulnerabilities, you never know if you're going to become a victim, fighting against criminal charges for merely doing the right thing.

    2) See above.

    3) See above.

    4) See above.

    5) See above.

  • I HATE Snowden (Score:4, Insightful)

    by plague911 ( 1292006 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @11:42AM (#55893455)
    and I even have no problem with the database existing, but the case against the journalist is beyond the pale. Journalistic protections are essential for ANY functioning society.
  • by tinkerton ( 199273 ) on Tuesday January 09, 2018 @11:45AM (#55893461)

    A biometric database of 1 billion people can be accessed easily, that is newsworthy. The fact that Snowden 'joins the outcry' is more a human interest angle. Like the human interest article I read about the latest Nobel prize for peace( for ICAN, who campaign against nuclear weapons). The campaign is important, and all we got was a human interest article.

    To be fair, if Snowden says a protest action is worthy, I do agree it makes it more interesting for me.

    The problem with this database is the same as with so much data collection: the main objection given is the security of the database 'only qualified people should access it'. In practice that is nonsense and you should assume it can be accessed by anyone, maybe not now but later. Therefore a more radical prohibition is needed for a lot of data: make it forbidden to collect some data.

    One step further would be to block certain technological developments. Because controversial technology is often introduced under pretext of tackling some consensus 'bad people': russian child molesting terrorists. Then once the technology is in place it's only a small step to use it for other purposes.

    With this latest scandal the line of defense is too easy. first try to shut up the messenger. If that fails claim you'll make the system safer. Job done.

  • ... the attention.

    He's like Assange in that respect.

    Neither are experts on anything except their own actions.

  • Speaking of Snowden, - is the bitter truth really better than a sweet lie? Certainly we have got a glimpse at how it actually works, but at what price?

    The omni-powerful US deep state is still reeling, angered, and agitated. International relations are in the gutter, animosity is flourishing.

    What I do not get is that as far as I know in accordance with the regulations of the Russian Federation a refugee cannot continue a political activity. But in case of Edward I only hear - Snowden said this, Snowden
  • Comrade Snowden? Any rants, I mean eloquent prose, about how the subway system is the envy of the civilized world?
  • Lots of Russian bots will become homeless if you can ID their accounts aren't actually from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, or Iran.

    Think of the poor starving Russian twitter and FB bots that will be affected by this!

  • The problem here is that India is currently run by a fascist right wing dictatorial party and PM (BJP and Modi). No amount of worldwide outcry will make then turn away from repressive policies. Journalists writing about India ought to do it from out of India. To think that the majority of the people there worship their dictator Modi... then again, this always happens wherever people fall for populists promising the moon and delivering only money for the rich (see Trump in the US).

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