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Sunday, September 19, 2010

India Launches Universal ID System with Biometrics

September 13th, 2010
by Aaron Saenz

universal-ID-india

India's Unique ID number will be tied into iris scans and fingerprints.

India has launched an ambitious program to fit each of its 1.2 billion residents with an Unique identification number (UID). Each number will be tied into three pieces of biometric data: fingerprints (all ten digits), iris scans (both eyes), and a picture of the face. Starting this month, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) will begin processing people in various locations around the country. UIDAI aims to slowly roll out the program through February of 2011 and to ID 600 million people in the next four years! This is a mammoth program. While residents are not mandated to get a UID, a growing list of services including social welfare and even some bank accounts will soon require the identification number. If successful, this will be the first biometrically verified universal ID implemented on a national scale. India is forging new ground, drawing both fears and hopes of what a national ID number may bring with it.

Ostensibly the UIDAI was formed, and the idea of UID green-lighted, to help those 440 million Indian people who were found to be below the poverty level in 2002. The nation has an extensive series of social welfare programs – everything from medical support to home heating fuel subsidies – but many of these services are ripe with corruption and bureaucratic stagnation. Many of India’s poorest citizens do not have ID cards, bank accounts, or even addresses that they can use to register for social services. Often the money for these programs ends up in the hands of middle class families tricking the system by using false identification schemes. With the UID, India hopes to give every resident a means of accessing welfare services as well as cut down on fraud. To the UIDAI, the purpose of a national ID is to enable the government to get help to those who need it.

Yet the UID is going to be used for much more than social welfare programs. The UIDAI is in discussions with many institutions (banks, local/state governments, etc) to allow them to use the UID as a means of identity verification. These institutions will pay the UIDAI some fee to cover costs and generate revenue. There seems to be little doubt that once it is established, the UID will become a preferred method (if not the preferred method) of identification in India.

universal-ID-india-fingerprints

Fingerprinting for the UID will cover all digits on both hands.

There, of course, will be some advantages to this. Drivers from one state will not need, nor be able to, acquire licenses from another state as their information will be universally accessible in the national database. Migrant workers, displaced poor, and refugees can all be confident that their UID identifies them no matter where they go in their country.

Ultimately I wouldn’t be surprised if the UID, with its biometric data, could be used as a means of payment (when linked to a bank account), or as an access key to homes and cars. Purchase a meal with your fingerprint and unlock your door with the twinkle in your eye. Similar results could be expected in other nations that adopted biometric identification systems.

To privacy advocates, however, the very concept of a national ID number is anathema. Putting all the personal information in one system opens the possibilities that it can be used for nefarious purposes – everything from identification fraud to genocide. The inclusion of biometric data such as fingerprints and iris scans increase the accuracy of such a system but also lends it an air of oppressive technologically-enabled surveillance.

universal-ID-india-picture

The UID will also include a photo of the face...but doesn't everything these days?

In order to alleviate some concerns, the UIDAI has highlighted ways that the UID is less binding than it may appear on the surface. First, they emphasize that acquiring the UID is not mandated. Though, as we’ve said, the number of benefits that will be exclusively offered through the UID will make it so desirable as to be effectively mandated. The UIDAI also points out that the UID is just a number, not an ID card. Each Indian state will still be responsible for issuing licenses and identification cards. While these cards are going to reference the UID, they may or may not contain the biometric data and other personal information gathered during UID registration. The actual UID number will not contain any intelligence; that is, it will not code for anything. It’s only a random string of digits, making it harder for hackers to exploit the system. UID’s will be given to every resident of India, no matter their citizen status.

The registration process has also been made transparent. When a resident is interviewed for the UID, they can see everything that the processor does via an outwardly facing computer screen attached to their laptop. Residents provide their name, date of birth, gender, father’s UID (if applicable), mother’s UID (if applicable), and address (if applicable). Fingerprints, picture, and iris scans are collected at the same time.

I understand the creepiness factor associated with a government agency registering everyone, giving them a number, and scanning their fingers and eyes. There’s some chilling Big Brother-like aspects to this whole affair. Yet the problem of insuring that resources make it to India’s poor is very real, and there’s the strong possibility that the UID will be empowering and democratizing to the 440 million Indians below the poverty level. It will take years before we know if the benefits of the UID program will outweigh the abuses it could create. The debate on privacy and national ID continues, but in India it looks like the UIDAI is already moving towards victory.

Note:
The article published in this blog titled "Some Parallels between US 9/11 and India's 9/11" shows India's road to implementing this UID project.

Friday, September 17, 2010

U.S. Military Officers for 9/11 Truth

It is one more feather in the cap of "9/11 Truth Movement" when Commissioned and Non-commissioned U.S. Military Officers join the Truth Movement along with others such as:
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth,
Veterans for 9/11 Truth,
Lawyers for 9/11 Truth,
Firefighters for 9/11 Truth,
Pilots for 9/11 Truth,
Political & Religious leaders for 9/11 Truth,
Scientists for 9/11 Truth,
Medical Professionals for 9/11 Truth,
Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice

A Word of Caution Though
Among the
humongous number of Military officers who joined the 9/11 Truth movement and whose names are listed on the website, I am skeptical of one name and that is the name of Retd. Major General Albert Stubblebine. What he talks about 9/11 might be true but there are some other areas where this individual has been spotted for suspicion.

Albert Stubblebine is a retired Major General of the United States Army, who also worked as the commanding general of the United States Army Intelligence and Security Command from 1981 to 1984. Apparently, he is also known for his interest in parapsychology, states Wiki profile. Stubblebine and his wife Dr. Rima Laibow (Psychiatrist) founded the Natural Solutions Foundation (NSF) "a non-profit corporation devoted to protecting and promoting health freedom". They claim to expose dangerous prescription drugs and vaccines promoted by Big Pharma and stand in defense of natural foods and vitamins. In particular , they claim to fight the Codex Alimentarius legislation that is being pushed by the Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). However, some skeptics have raised concerns about the genuineness of the couple.

In the eyes of skeptics, the couple who purportedly fight the Codex Alimentarius, are disinformation agents or agents of counter-opposition. In other words, they appear to be on the side of the people opposing the legislation but in reality they are diverting the opposition from its rightful track. I came to be alarmed of the couple from sources such as the Dr. Rath Foundation, Ian R. Crane's presentation, Dr. Rebecca Carley and others. I thought I would add this as a note when I saw Major Stubblebine's name in the list.



Friday, September 10, 2010

Some Parallels between US 9/11 and India's 9/11: Say No to UIDs

Recently, the Unique ID (UID) Project that’s being pushed through the National Identification Authority bill, currently in the Indian Parliament, came under criticism by civil society groups under the banner of ‘Campaign for No UID’. The UID Project led by Mr. Nandan Nilekani, former CEO of IT major Infosys, is being pushed as a landmark initiative for ushering in ‘good governance’ and providing basic services to the poor. What follows is a piece that I wrote in response to an article titled UID Not In The Public Interest in a different forum. My urge for writing this piece stems from looking at the scenarios or circumstances that led to the call for UIDs in India rather than the UID itself.

I wish the campaign against the UID project wins the battle and the beast be killed in the womb itself. The push for this new ID comes on top of other existing IDs such as the Passport, Driver's Licence, Ration Card, Electoral ID, PAN Card etc. The administration seems to be taking advantage of the political ignorance of the people in the name of 'technological advancement' & 'progress'. Even the mainstream media (The Hindu) has raised some concerns about this issue before. As far as I understand, the UID project is part of a global initiative and is probably the reason why this Unique ID (UID) is also sometimes called the Universal ID.

By undertaking ambitious UID plan, knowingly or unknowingly Nandan Nilekani is simply advancing a global agenda, locally in India, backed by the global elites and that is to microchip the entire global population eventually. This has nothing to do with the safety, security or welfare of the public but has everything to do with total control of the people and every aspect of their lives. The push for Universal ID in India or for that reason the National Security ID in US, are only the first steps to a larger agenda of implanting RFID chips in human beings. Once it's in place, every human being can be tracked on the globe (using GPS) and all money is to be in these chips as there won't be any paper currency. When all the money is in the chip, they can take out whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted (e.g. tax, fees, fines etc), says Aaron Russo. Further, if you protest against the authority, they can simply turn off your chip, which leaves you with nothing. So, no matter what stories they tell you to sell you their 'advanced technology', the ultimate goal is the global enslavement through control of each individual.

The claims that this one ID would replace the need to submit so many other documents imply that several of your personal information including medical, banking etc. could some day in future be merged into this one little piece of ID. Please watch this 10 min excerpt from the historic interview with Aaron Russo or at least the first 2 minutes to see what he has to say about this technology and its ultimate goal. An updated version of the full interview is also available and is certainly worth watching.

The following are my observations and I might be wrong in stretching certain things a bit too far, but I felt compelled to write it down. So, here we go..

Remember the scenarios or events that led to the call for UIDs in India?

Immediately after India's 9/11 (Mumbai attack), the Govt. invoked the Draconian UAPA Law and shortly after that they called for an Universal ID (UID). This was very much in line with what happened in US after 9/11, which gave their Govt. the excuse to invoke the Patriot Act (a draconian law) and subsequently call for the enforcement of a National Security ID. However, since US is one step ahead of the rest of the world and thousands of people know where the US is going with their National ID plan, we can very well forecast where India is going with its UID plan, simply because there's so much parallels between what's unfolding in both countries/continents.

Undeniably, there's quite a bit of parallelism between what happened in US after 9/11 and what's unfolding in India after India's 9/11. Both used false-flag terror attacks as a pretext to invoke draconian laws and enforce National Security IDs; as if these were the standard procedures (or the only measures) to be adopted in the aftermath of a terror attack. To understand it, I think, you may have to go back to an year before the general elections of May 2009. Back in April/May 2008, both parties of India came up with their major agendas for the election campaign. I was startled to see that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had 'Terrorism' as one of their main agenda.

As of 2006, about 40% of Americans did not believe in the official story of 9/11 anymore [This was only 2nd to the number of people who did not believe in the official story of JFK assassination (70%)]. This number has increased by the day ever since and this movement has crossed the N. American continent, to Britain and now sweeping across Europe. So when you know that much of what's called terrorism today is a phony issue or a giant hoax, I had a reason to suspect why "terrorism" was picked as one of the major agendas in 2008. A basic understanding of political philosophy tells that you cannot go campaigning for an election with an issue that doesn't really exist (I believe, terrorism was not as much as a menace to be campaigned as a major agenda for election by any party). If it doesn't exist, then it has to be created. So, is it a coincidence that we had a series of terror attacks in the months that followed? Look at the number of terror attacks that rocked India between May 2008 and Nov. 2008 and the frequency with which it happened (Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmadabad, Malegaon, Assam, Delhi and finally culminating in the Mumbai attack). We had 6 or 7 attacks happening in a row in just a matter of 6 months and all being hyped. Compare that with the number & frequency with which terror attacks happened in the 4 yrs prior to that. Does that ring any bell? And interestingly we didn't have any terror attacks since then (India's 9/11) for more than a year. Did the terrorists take a long break from their bombing spree or did they reconcile with the Indian people or did someone else accomplish something by staging these terror attacks?

Often what happens after a crisis is what needs to be followed in order to understand why that crisis happened in the first place.

In the US, the 9/11provided the perfect excuse to invoke the Patriot Act. Compare this with Hitler's German Enabling Act (Erm├Ąchtigungsgesetz) of 1933 and how it was enacted. The Patriot Act, a 300 plus pages document, drafted over a period of several years was waiting for the right crisis to be invoked. It takes away a lot of the people's rights & freedom. According to it, now they can arrest or detain you without a warrant, raid or break into your house without your permission, seize properties, trace or tap any forms of communications (telephone, emails etc.) and if arrested on supposed 'terror' charges "you are guilty until proven innocent" which is against the civilized law that states "you are innocent until proven guilty". In other words, more & more powers are being taken away from the people and vested with the Govt. or President. Subsequently, they called for a National Security ID, which if not for the 9/11 attack, would have never been accepted by the people. The next step in their plan was to merge these IDs with the driver's licence so that you are forced to carry it. They do it one-step-at-a-time and eventually these chips are to contain all your personal information (including medical, banking etc.). It's only a matter of time before these chips would jump from your cards to your body. The point here is that 9/11 gave the perfect excuse to implement these agendas.

Could India be following the same footsteps; invoking the UAPA Law and pushing the UID project, both in the wake of staged terror attacks?

My suspicion grew stronger particularly after the Bangalore and Ahmadabad bombings that happened on consecutive days in late July 2008. Interestingly both were BJP ruled states. What better place to stage a false-flag attack than to stage it in their own states! The news media like Times of India (TOI) was quick to respond with articles like "BJP ruled states under attack", "BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh under high alert", etc. Though it sounds true at prima facie, why would someone bring BJP into the equation while addressing terrorism? I wondered if those titles were aimed at unsuspecting people to gain their sympathy in favour of BJP because it was the only party campaigning for election with combating terrorism as one of their major agenda? Even more interesting was that within 24 hrs of this incident, L. K. Advani (then the leader of opposition and the Prime Ministerial candidate) came on stage bashing the central Govt. for repealing the Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act (POTA), as if it was because of the lack of POTA that terror attacks happened. This, to me, sounded more like the classic case of the Hegelian dialectic: PROBLEM - REACTION - SOLUTION. They created a Problem, hyped it using the media for the public to React and then they came up with their own Solution, without giving any time for the people to think. It was one or two months after this attack that the head of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), Hemant Karkare exposed the Hindutva terror network within India linked to the Indian Army official, Hindutva cadre and other factions of BJP. The whole of India was taken by surprise and shocked while there was nothing really to be surprised at all.

In several cases, the BJP leadership in these states itself pose the biggest obstacle to any unbiased investigation. To cite a recent example, a thorough investigation by the Rajasthan ATS, after the ouster of BJP from power in the state, revealed that the RSS activists were actually involved in the Ajmer bomb attack of October 2007, which was earlier blamed on HuJI, LeT and such Muslim terrorist groups. In fact, a Rajasthan police team had even cracked the Ajmer blast way back in 2007 but because of political pressure the findings were kept under the wrap, reports Gatade.

Another example I could remember was the controversy surrounding a photograph that appeared in almost all the mainstream media after the Delhi terror attacks in September 2008. At least eight mainstream English newspapers (including The Times of India, The Indian and The New Indian Express, The Hindu, the Hindustan Times, The Deccan Chronicle) and many more in the regional language papers uncritically published almost identical photographs on their front pages. It was a picture of the three suspected terrorists arrested in connection with the Delhi serial blasts. However, there was something strange about this photograph. A critique, titled "The uses and misuses of photographs" by Sadanand Menon addresses it and described this incident as one of those where the Indian media collectively displayed a herd-like mentality.

Finally, there came the Mumbai attacks. When all the other attacks until then were mostly covered only locally, Mumbai terror attacks received global coverage. This brought India to the status of a global ally in the phony ‘War on Terror’. So is there any wonder why it follows the exact footsteps of US? Despite the number of controversies (lies, fabrications) surrounding the official story of Mumbai attacks (see [1], [2]), it formed the basis for launching the draconian UAPA Law and the subsequent call for UIDs. Further, India's 9/11 also took some obstacles out of the way like I.P.S Officer Karkare and his associates, just as US 9/11 took down John O'Neil along with the WTC towers. [The Fed blocked his investigation who almost tipped off the connection between CIA and Bin Laden]. The mystery surrounding the death of the ATS chief Karkare and his associates alone [3], [4] is enough to suggest that some elements in India certainly had prior knowledge of the oncoming attacks. To me, the only thing right about Mumbai attack was that they rightly termed it as 'India's 9/11' because it had all the fingerprints of a false-flag attack like the US 9/11.

In essence, by invoking the UAPA Law, Congress did what BJP wanted. However, BJP is not the sole beneficiary from this deal. The ever-expanding definition of the term 'Terrorist' in these draconian laws can be extended to anyone who voices dissent against the authority and is a threat to the very democratic rights. Today, the Union Minister of Home Affairs Mr. Chidambaram and his cronies have already extended it to their fight against Naxalites & Maoists where they are grabbing tribal land by force under 'Operation Green Hunt' and turning it over to corporate criminals offshore. Any dissenting voices from social activists, human rights activists or protesters can be silenced under these laws (e.g. See what happened to Dr. Sen). Tomorrow, any form of dissent or resistance to the state could be labelled as a threat to the unity, integrity, security or sovereignty of India and hence the dissenter be branded as a Terrorist. In short, these laws are ultimately going to be used against the very people they promised to protect. Terrorists & terror attacks were simply a means to the end. Remember the saying, "Terrorists & dictators are two sides of the same coin and they have always done business with the rich".

For Nilekani, UID project may be a business venture, but for the Govt. it's certainly a tool to control and spy on its citizens; and sadly for the people, it's the first step to total enslavement.

Notes:
1. India's Terror Dossier: Further Evidence Of A Conspiracy
(http://countercurrents.org/hansa050209.htm)

2. Unanswered Questions About Mumbai Terror Attacks
(http://countercurrents.org/hansa130510.htm)

3. Who Killed Karkare? The Real Face of Terrorism in India by S. M. Mushrif, Former I. G. Police, MH (A Review)

4. To the last bullet by Vinita Kamate