Arrest Aadhaar authorities, not journalist who exposed breach: Snowden

Last Updated: Tue, Jan 09, 2018 12:03 hrs

New Delhi: United States whistleblower Edward Snowden has weighed in the Aadhaar data breach row in India, saying that journalists who expose such leaks should be rewarded and not investigated.

Directly calling out the Unique Identification Authority of India, Snowden on Twitter wrote, “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.”

His tweet comes following the FIR that the Aadhaar body filed against a daily newspaper and the reporter for exposing the breach.

Snowden had spoken on the same issue earlier this month, saying, “It is the natural tendency of government to desire perfect records of private lives. History shows that no matter the laws, the result is abuse.”

Rachna Khaira, the journalist against whom UIDAI filed an FIR said on Monday that she has just revealed the “tip of the iceberg” in her report and there was “much more to come” based on her investigations.

The Tribune also released a statement saying Khaira’s investigation was a “legitimate journalistic exercise.”

While he was a contractor for the US government, Snowden was employed with the country's National Security Agency. It was during his work the NSA that Snowden came across classified information that he ultimately leaked to newspapers to blow the lid off a massive surveillance programme that was being run by the spy agency.

Snowden’s disclosures had led to worldwide concerns over privacy; similar concerns have been expressed in India over the Aadhaar programme, which is facing a legal challenge in the Supreme Court.

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