Letter to President on Mankind’s biggest database of biometric data and unfolding surveillance regime


Hon’ble President of India

Government of India

President’s Secretariat

Rashtrapati Bhavan

New Delhi

August 15, 2012

Subject-Mankind’s biggest database of biometric data and unfolding surveillance regime


I salute you for recalling in your speech on the eve of Independence Day that India had 24.5% of World Manufacturing Output before our independence was snatched away by British East India Company[1], an entity created by Queen Elizabeth I through a royal charter on December 31, 1600. Our current share in manufacturing output is 2.2%, as per UN National Accounts Main Aggregates Database, 2010. As a fellow citizen, I hope that you will consider preparing a blue print for gaining pre-1750 position for our country in world trade.  

I wish to draw your attention towards advertisements dated August 14, 2012 in the newspapers regarding Home Ministry’s National Population Register (NPR) and World Bank’s eTransform Initiative.

NPR ad TOI, Aug 14 New Delhi, p.25

I submit that the illegal collection of citizens’ biometric data appears to be a result of illegitimate advances of biometric technology companies to facilitate emergence of a police state.  

I submit that NPR is unfolding in violation of the Census Act.  It contemptuously disregards the observations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Finance that specifically raises questions about the legality, and wisdom, of the collection of biometrics while creating a citizen/resident data base, Home Ministry has announced National Population Register (NPR) Biometric Camps for it. The PSC Report reads (in para 3© of 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 report was submitted to the Parliament on December 13, 2011. Unmindful of this our Prime Minister informed the nation today that “about 20 crore people have been registered so far” under biometric data based UID/Aadhar scheme. This registration process appears to be in contempt of Parliament.

I wish to draw your attention towards the speech of UK’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said in British House of Commons. He said, “This government will end the culture of spying on its citizens. It is outrageous that decent, law-abiding people are regularly treated as if they have something to hide. It has to stop. So there will be no ID card scheme. No national identity register, a halt to second generation biometric passports,” He added, “We won’t hold your internet and email records when there is just no reason to do so. Britain must not be a country where our children grow up so used to their liberty being infringed that they accept it without question. Schools will not take children’s fingerprints without even asking their parent’s consent. This will be a government that is proud when British citizens stand up against illegitimate advances of the state.” The speech of the British Deputy Prime Minister is relevant for India and Indian as well. The speech is attached.

I submit that Indian National Congress led United Progressive Alliance government should take note of it to avoid the fate of Tony Blair and his UK’s Identity Cards Act, 2006. Both have been abandoned.

I submit that Wikileaks has revealed a secret U.S. documents which confirmed that the deposed President Hosni Mubarak and his interior minister Habib al-Adli handed over to the US intelligence agency, FBI all the data contained in the archive of Egyptian national ID database and fingerprinting and registration code.

 Source: http://www.rosaonline.net/Daily/News.asp?id=118263http://t.co/xNtXfxIhttps://twitter.com/#!/wikileaks/status/102722653831430145http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http://www.rosaonline.net/Daily/News.asp%3Fid%3D118263

I submit that the minutes of Approach Paper for legislation on Privacy communicated by the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) by communication dt.18-10-2010 in No. 17/1/2010-IR defined ‘Personal Sensitive Data’ that includes biometric data and genetic information.

I submit that the NPR exercise is based on admittedly fallible science of identifying a person through his unique body measurements such as fingerprints, iris scans, voice prints or DNA.

I submit that PSC report reveals that the collection of biometric data is without legal mandate.  It is noteworthy that biometric identification technologies are surveillance technologies. This exercise poses threats to human rights of present and future generation of Indians.

I submit that the biggest-ever database being attempted in the history of mankind merits a rigorous political debate. An autocratic social control technology regime is silently giving birth to a permanent emergency architecture.

I submit that under the chapter “Creating an appropriate legislative framework‟ the White Paper on Black Money prepared by Union Finance Ministry claimed that UID-Aadhaar initiative will cut down corruption and the generation of black money in India.  It is ironical that Unique Identity (UID)-Aadhaar project is mentioned under the title ‘Creating an appropriate legislative framework’ because its Centralized Identities Data Register (CIDR) is being prepared outside any ‘appropriate legislative framework.’

I submit that the manifest short term and long term foreign interest in biometric information based projects is aimed at creating ‘solutions architecture’ through linguistic corruption in the form of proposed National Information Utilities (NIUs) by Union Finance Ministry’s Technology Advisory Group on Unique projects. These NIUs are envisaged as private companies with public purpose and with profit making as the motive but not profit maximizing. The construction of this sentence seems to betray the ulterior motives of vested interests. It appears that words indeed have meaning, which the masters give to it a classic case of nominalism, a tendency of the ruling elite to decide on the meaning of a word.

I submit that in a reply to a question in Parliament on December 7, 2011, the Home Ministry informed that it has a proposal to issue every adult resident in the country an identity card and NPR is being prepared for the same.

I submit that even as this exercise is unfolding, the fact remains that biometric data like finger print, voice print, iris scan and DNA do not reveal citizenship.

I wish to draw your attention towards how under patronage from the government “a small group of entrepreneurs within the government have set out to identify to every one of their 1.2 billion residents by using biometric technologies, such as iris scans and fingerprints” to prepare NPR and Centralized Identities Data Register (CIDR) of UID/Aadhaar.

I submit that the new Chief Election Commissioner, Shri V.S. Sampath should be advised to rescind the dangerous proposal of Shri S.Y. Quraishi, his predecessor to Union Ministry of Home Affairs asking it “to merge the Election ID cards with UID”. Such an exercise would mean rewriting and engineering the electoral ecosystem with the unconstitutional and illegal use of biometric technology in a context where electoral finance has become source of corruption and black money in the country. This would lead to linking of UID, Election ID and Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) which is not as innocent and as politically neutral as it has been made out to be. It is noteworthy that all EVMs have a UID as well. This proposal makes a mockery of the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance on UID Bill.

I submit that surveillance is a “shameful act” of supervising and imposing discipline on a subject through a hierarchized system of policing. (Michel Foucault, ‘Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison’, New York, 1977). In this seminal work Michel Foucault examines the systems of social power through the lens of the 18th century philosopher Jeremy Bentham, the originator of the now iconic Panopticon. This Panopticon was/is a design for a prison in which the inmate’s cells are arranged in a circular fashion around a central guard tower. The architectural configuration allows for a single guard’s gaze to view all inmates, but prevents those inmates from knowing exactly when they are being watched. It has been observed that “The major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power.”

I submit that this design as a “generalized model of functioning and a way of defining power relations in terms of the everyday lives of men.” In the initiatives like NPR and CIDR the subject is seen but he/she does not see. He/she is the object of information, but never a subject in communication.

I submit that Foucault’s Panoptic model is quite valid for NPR and CIDR because these databases are meant to ensure real time tracking and profiling of citizens and turns them into subjects and in a slave like situation.

I submit that tumultuous colonial history of the technologies associated with surveillance reveal that the origins of surveillance happened during free trade of slaves.

I submit that NPR and CIDR treats Indian citizens worse than slaves. We are being identified prior to any act of omission and commission.  It is a case of a deepening of everyday surveillance.

I submit that both NPR and CIDR are similar to what was done under the Britain’s Habitual Criminals Act of 1869 required police to keep an “Alphabetical Registry” and cross-referenced “Distinctive Marks Registry. The first held names, and the latter descriptions of scars, tattoos, birthmarks, balding, pockmarks, and other distinguishing features. This registry of marks was systematically disaggregated into nine general categories pertaining to regions of the body. Therefore there were files for the head and face; throat and neck; chest; belly and groin; back and loins; arms; hands and fingers; thighs and legs; feet and ankles.

I submit that the idea of using dactyloscopy, or fingerprinting, for criminal identification surfaced in a letter to the publication Nature, from a Henry Faulds, a British physician which was deployed by colonial masters in India after First War of India’s Independence in 1857.

I submit that the biometric information based identification exercise is being implemented under the influence of transnational companies like Safarn Group and Accenture. It appears that corporate funding to the ruling political parties is facilitating the decision regarding NPR and CIDR. It merits parliamentary probe.    
I submit that unlike the earlier attempts the Database of Union Ministry of Home Affairs and Planning Commission that registers the names and distinctive marks builds on the biometric information of the human body that was used for tracking the misdeeds of the criminals and for identifying prisoners. This is an act of political record keeping. It is an act of using human body as data.

I submit that the proposed convergence of biometric information with financial and personal data such as residence, employment, and medical history heralds the beginning of the demolition of one of the most important firewalls in the structure of privacy.

I submit that this mandatory ID (under NPR and CIDR) in every context acts not as a “unique personal identifier”. This identifier is to everyday surveillance as the discovery of longitude was to navigation.

I submit that George Orwell’s 1984 has taught us that an all-knowing corrupt government is a terrifying situation. In recent times the wide spread use of biometrics is attributed to its endorsement by George Bush on May 14, 2002 for use in the US government.

I submit that the lure of biometric technology companies reminds one of Mary Howitt’s children’s poem, “The Spider and the Fly”. In this poem, the spider cunningly tempts and eventually persuades the fly to come into his parlour. At first the fly is hesitant; knowing that all who enter never return. Before long, however, the fly’s curiosity and vanity get the better of him and he enters the parlour.

I submit that like the fly, citizens and States are slowly being lured into an intricate web of deception. The poem ends with the spider warning alert citizens to think before acting: “And now dear little children, who may this story read, To idle, silly flattering words, I pray you ne’er give heed: Unto an evil counsellor, close heart and ear and eye, And take a lesson from this tale, of the Spider and the Fly.”

I submit that like the fly, citizens and States are slowly being lured into an intricate web of deception.

I submit that if a technology defines a situation as real, it is real in its consequences.  The personal information is a growing commodity. Our personal information is a valued resource. According to the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, “once a biometric identifier is compromised, it stays compromised”.

I wish to seek your attention towards ‘Perceptions of Privacy and the Consequences of Apathy‘ (published in Dalhousie Journal of Interdisciplinary Management – Volume 4 – Spring 2009 3), wherein Sir Ken Macdonald, the Director of Public Prosecutions in Great Britain is quoted as warning that the penalties of adopting a “Big Brother surveillance state could lead to serious consequences and suggests that “we should take very great care to imagine the world we are creating before we build it. We might end up living with something we cannot bear”.

I submit that Biometrics “means the technologies that measure and analyse human body characteristics, such as ’fingerprints’, ’eye retinas and irises’, ’voice patterns’, “facial patterns’, ’hand measurements’ and ’DNA’ for authentication purposes” as per Information Technology (Reasonable security practices and procedures and sensitive personal data or information) Rules, 2011 under section 87 read with section 43A of Information Technology Act, 2000.

I submit that National Defense Magazine, a US publication in an article entitled “Defense Department Under Pressure to Share Biometric Data” reveals that the United States has bi-lateral agreements with other nations aimed at sharing biometric data. It reads: “Miller [a consultant to the Office of Homeland Defense and America’s security affairs] said the United States has bi-lateral agreements to share biometric data with about 25 countries. Every time a foreign leader has visited Washington during the last few years, the State Department has made sure they sign such an agreement.”

Source: http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/ARCHIVE/2009/JANUARY/Pages/DefenseDepartmentUnderPressuretoShareBiometricData.aspx

I submit that it appears that NPR is unfolding under such agreement.  The collection of biometric data supports the ideology of biological determinism with its implicit and explicit faith in the biometric technologies. There are dangers of trusting such technological advances for determining social policies.

I submit that a decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decision about violation of the right to privacy and family life by DNA profile retention in criminal justice databanks merits attention. The case was heard publicly on February 27, 2008, and the unanimous decision of 17 judges was delivered on December 4, 2008. The court 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. The technique of DNA profiling was pioneered in the United Kingdom, and it was the first nation to establish a criminal justice DNA databank. The decision is nonappealable. This decision is relevant to  NPR.  

I submit that DNA Profiling is also part of biometric data collection. Unmindful of this, the same is unfolding in India as well. Profiling of citizens in the name social security is a dehumanizing act.

I submit that the 178 page Unclassified Report of the US Defense Science Board Task Force on Defense Biometrics states in Chapter 17, Recommendation 45 that ‘it is wise to protect, and sometimes even to disguise, the true and total extent of national capabilities in areas related directly to the conduct of security-related activities. This also potentially applies to Biometrics. It goes on to say that this is a classic feature of intelligence and military operations. In short, the goal is to preserve the security of what the intelligence community calls `sources and methods’. The speech is attached. It is clear from it that NPR is being undertaken indiscriminately in keeping with such recommendations. NPR is not limited to suspects, it suspects the entire citizenry.  

I submit that once the database of biometric is in place the enlargement of scope for its new predictive uses cannot be ruled out given scientific advancements underway. In such a situation readymade NPR based inferences makes impartiality of the criminal justice system and other systems become questionable.

I submit that this is contrary to the existing legal provisions under Census Act and Citizenship Act since this data will also be used for the “creation and maintenance” of population statistics that can be used for “identification, research, protocol development or quality control”.

I submit that quite like prisoners whose biometric data like finger prints can be collected only under the Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920, it is quite outrageous that NPR is taking biometric data of every resident and citizen of India disregarding absence of any legislative mandate for it. In the case of prisoners their biometric data is required to be destroyed on their acquittal but in the case of NPR and Centralized Identities Register (CIDR) of Unique Identification (UID)/Aadhaar Number, the same will be recorded for ever. Are residents and citizens worse than prisoners?

I wish to submit that it is claimed that NPR id being in keeping with the Citizenship Act, 1955 which is “an Act to provide for the acquisition and determination of Indian citizenship”. The Citizenship Rules, 2009 provides for creation of a Register of citizens saying, “The Central Government shall maintain a register containing the names and other details of the persons registered or naturalised as citizen of India”. The Act and the Rules do not provide for creation of Citizens Register based on without biometric data. As a consequence what the Union Home Ministry is doing through NPR is without any legal mandate.

I submit that according to the Manual of Instructions for filling up of the NPR Household Schedule, 2011 prepared by the Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner (ORG&CCI), Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the objectives of NPR involves “Collection of personal details of all residents of the country and Capture of photograph and finger prints of all residents who are of age 15 years and above in villages/urban areas.” The data collection for preparation of NPR is undertaken along with the House listing Operations of Census 2011. It categorically states that “NPR will contain the details of all the ’usual residents’ of the country regardless of whether they are citizens or non-citizens.” If that is the case how can it qualify to be an act under the Citizenship Act and Rules given the fact that the Register will have both citizens and non-citizens?

I submit that as per the Manual, NPR’s utility lies in creation of “a comprehensive identity database in the country. This would not only strengthen security of the country but also help in better targeting of the benefits and services under the Government schemes/programmes and improve planning.” It further states, “It may be noted that nationality declared by respondent does not confer any right to Indian Citizenship”. In such a case isn’t Census itself quite sufficient for it?

I submit that Census Commissioner is supposed to gather the data of population under the Census Act, 1948 on the pre-condition that it would be kept secret and it will not be revealed even to the courts.

I submit that unlike the data collected under Census Act which is confidential as per Section 15 of the Act, the provisions of the Citizenship Act and the citizenship or nationality Rules that provides the basis for creation of the Register of citizens do not provide for confidentiality. The fact is that there is no mention of capturing biometrics in the Citizenship Act or Citizenship Rules. It is clear that the collection of biometrics is not a statutory requirement. This is not permissible under also Collection of Statistics Act. But both Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and ORG&CCI which are creating the NPR are collecting biometric data as well. It is not a question of duplication alone; it is a question of treating citizens worse than prisoners.

The Identification of Prisoners Act provides that “Every person who has been, (a) convicted of any offence punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term of one year or upwards, or of any offence which would render him liable to enhanced punishment on a subsequent conviction, or (b) ordered to give security for his good behaviour under Section 118 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, shall, if so required, allow his measurements and photograph to be taken by a Police Officer in the prescribed manner.”

It further provides that “Any person who has been arrested in connection with an offence punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term of one year or upwards shall, if so required by a police officer, allow his measurements to be taken in the prescribed manner.” As per Section 5 of the Act, “If a Magistrate is satisfied that, for the purposes of any investigation or proceeding under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, it is expedient to direct any person to allow his measurements or photograph to be taken, he may make an order to the effect, and in that case the person to whom the order relates shall be produced or shall attend at the time and place specified in the order and shall allow his measurements or photograph to be taken, as the case may be, by a police officer:”

I submit that providing for a dignified treatment of the citizens of India, Section 15 of the Census Act establishes that “Records of census not open to inspection nor admissible in evidence”. It reads: No person shall have a right to inspect any book, register or record made by a census-officer in the discharge of his duty as such, or any schedule delivered under section 10 and notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, no entry in any such book, register, record or schedule shall be admissible as evidence in any civil proceeding whatsoever or in any criminal proceeding other than a prosecution under this Act or any other law for any act or omission which constitutes an offence under this Act.” Demolishing this dignity of the citizens, the Union Home Ministry is dehumanizing citizens by according them a status inferior to that of prisoners.

I submit that as per Section 7 of Identification of Prisoners Act, “Where any person who, not having been previously convicted of an offence punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term of one year or upwards, has had his measurements taken or has been photographed in accordance with the provisions of this Act is released without trial or discharged or acquitted by any court, all measurements and all photographs (both negatives and copies) so taken shall, unless the court or (in a case where such person is released without trial) the District Magistrate or Sub-divisional Officer for reasons to be recorded in writing otherwise directs, be destroyed or made over to him.” In the case of NPR the data will be stored forever.

I submit that NPR is also mentioned in Column 7 of the Aadaar/UID Enrolment Form. Census Commissioner who is ex-officio Registrar General of India (RGI) has awarded the NPR project to Department of Information Technology for 19 States and 2 Union Territories that covers a total population of 49 crores in urban and 13 crores in rural areas, 74 zones and 410 districts.

I submit that unlike UK, as per ORG&CCI, NPR process include collection of details including biometrics such as photograph, 10 fingerprints and Iris information for all persons aged 15 years and above. This is be done by arranging camps at every village and at the ward level in every town. Each household is required to bring the Acknowledgement Slip to such camps. In the next step, data is printed out and displayed at prominent places within the village and ward for the public to see. After authentication, the lists are sent to the UIDAI for de-duplication and issue of UID Numbers. The cleaned database along with the UID Number will then be sent back to the ORG&CCI and form the NPR.

I submit that it is evident that ORG&CCI has amalgamated its two independent mandates using two Forms for each household in India. The first form relates to the House listing and Housing Census that has 35 questions relating to Building material, Use of Houses, Drinking water, Availability and type of latrines, Electricity, possession of assets etc. The second form relates to the NPR that has 14 questions including name of the person, gender, date of birth, place of birth, marital status, name of father, name of mother, name of spouse, present address, duration of stay at present address, permanent address, occupation, nationality as declared, educational qualification and relationship to head of family. There are 10 columns in the Aadhaar/UID Enrolment Form.

I submit that ORG&CCI admits that “all information collected under the Census is confidential and will not be shared with any agency – Government or private.” But it reveals that “certain information collected under the NPR will be published in the local areas for public scrutiny and invitation of objections. This is in the nature of the electoral roll or the telephone directory. After the NPR has been finalised, the database will be used only within the Government.”

I submit that while dual work of Census and NPR has blurred the line between confidential and non-confidential, UIDAI has gone ahead to seek consent for “sharing information provided…to the UIDAI with agencies engaged in delivery of welfare services” as per Column 9 of the UID/Aadhaar Enrolment Form.

I submit that it has come to light that French surveillance and identification technology company, Safran Group which is involved in UID project has opened an office in the Hindustan Times building in New Delhi. On July 19, 2011, L-1 Identity Solutions which has been awarded contract by UIDAI and is part of World Bank’s eTranform Initiative (for their transformational government project in 14 developing countries including India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and others) has been bought over by Safran after Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States resolved their national security concerns.

I wish to draw your attention towards a Statement of Concern by eminent citizens including former judges of the Supreme Court and High Court and academicians including Justice V R Krishna Iyer, Justice A P Shah and 15 others who have sought halting of NPR and UID/Aadhaar like identification exercises that has been rejected in countries like UK, China, USA, Philippines and Australia citing national security concerns and grave violation of civil liberties. The statement is attached.

I submit that in such a context, the enactment of Privacy Bill, 2011 should have preceded initiatives like Public Information Infrastructure, NPR and UID/Aadhaar else the very purpose of the proposed legislation is defeated. Before the creation of Data Protection Authority of India (DPAI) as envisaged under Section 49 of the Privacy Bill and Central Electronic Services Delivery Commission (CESDC) under Section 8 of the Electronic Delivery of Services Bill, 2011 with proven impeccable judicial competence, the implementation of all biometric data collection related programs must be stopped both in private as well as in the government. The supersession of the adjudication by DPAI and CESDC in the proposed legislations compromises their independence and does not inspire confidence.

I wish to draw your attention towards a Washington Post news report “Supreme Court worries that new technology creates ‘1984’ scenarios” published on November 9, 2011 that records the deliberation in the US Supreme Court on November 8, 2011 merits attention. “You could tomorrow decide that you put a GPS device on every one of our cars, follow us for a month. No problem under the Constitution?” asked John G. Roberts Jr, Chief Justice of US Supreme Court.

In an elaborate exchange in which the Big Brother of George Orwell’s novel “1984” was referenced six times and the nine judge bench wondered about a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy in such context. GPS device is a tracking device that utilizes the Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. The issue before the court is: Whether the US Constitution or any democratic constitution allows the Government to put a tracking device on a car without either a warrant or the owner’s permission. It is quite clear that NPR, RFID, UID/Aadhhar and proposed DNA Database is meant for tracking citizens for ever. Undertaking a surveillance or identification exercise on all the citizens of India is indeed a matter of judicial concern. Isn’t this judicial deliberation relevant to Indian situation?

I submit that National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) too has expressed grave concerns regarding discrimination, protection of information and identity theft in its written submission to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance in the matter of biometric date based identification. It is reported in NHRC newsletter of August 2011. NHRC’s views are relevant for NPR as well.

It is noteworthy that UIDAI had initially claimed that enrolment based on biometric data is voluntary. Subsequent events and official documents reveal that it is linked to NPR and is explicitly mandatory. This appears to be an exercise in deceiving citizens and legislatures to collect biometric data at any cost.   

I submit that Home Ministry has not disclosed that NPR is linked to National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), Draft Human DNA Profiling Bill, Union Surface Transport Ministry’s Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Union Finance Ministry’s National Information Utility, Planning Commission’s Unique Identification Number/Aadhaar, Union Rural Development Ministry’s Land Titling Bill, World Bank’s eTransform Initiative, NATO’s identification policy and Shri Sam Pitroda’s Public Information Infrastructure and Innovations etc. This merits examination and revisit by the Parliament and State legislatures.

I submit that databases like NPR and Centralized Identity Data Register (CIDR) of UID/Aadhaar are saleable commodities.

In all likelihood NPR, DNA Data Bank, CIDR and Criminal Database will get converged in furtherance of World Bank’s eTransform Initiative unfolding in partnership with six transnational companies namely, Gemalto, IBM, L-1 Identity Solutions, Microsoft and Pfizer and two national governments of France and South Korea. Such convergence also includes convergence of private sector, public sector and citizen sector.

I submit that the initiative was announced by the World Bank on April 23, 2010 in Washington. I also wish to draw your attention towards a Wikileaks cable that reveals how the US State department is interested in knowing about India’s Unique Identification program, a biometric database of the world’s largest democracy. The information sought by US authorities is available on Wikileaks website.

I submit that UNDP’s “Innovation Support for Social Protection: Institutionalizing Conditional Cash Transfers“ [Award ID: 00049804, Project: 00061073; Confer: Output 1, Target 1.2 (a) & Output 3 (a), (b)] is also linked to it. I submit that on 9th July, 2011, a “Citizens Declaration Against UID Number” was adopted in New Delhi which called for the audit of the activities of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) since January 2009 by Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) of India.  Prior to this at a meeting “to learn from ongoing struggles, discuss Legislative Oversight on IFIs & strategise towards Policy Standards for National/Private financial institutions in India” held in Kolkata during 20-21st June 2011, some 70 organisations called for the scrapping of the UID Number project which is linked to NPR.

I submit that such convergence of databases poses a threat to minorities and political opponents as they can be targeted in a situation where government is led by any Nazi party like political formations.

In view of the above, I urge to intervene to safeguard citizens’ privacy and their civil liberties that face an unprecedented onslaught from collection of biometric data and other related surveillance measures that are being bulldozed by unregulated and ungovernable technology companies by overawing the ministry through its marketing blitzkrieg.

I also wish to take this opportunity to seek appointment for a delegation of eminent citizens to meet you with relevant documents in this regard.

Thanking You  

Yours faithfully

Gopal Krishna


Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL)

New Delhi



Hon’ble Vice President of India & Chairman, Rajya Sabha

Hon’ble Speaker, Lok Sabha, New Delhi

Hon’ble Members of Parliament

Secretary to the President of India

Chief Minister, Government of Bihar

Chief Minister, Government of Tripura

Chief Minister, Government of Uttar Pradesh

Chief Minister, Government of Tamil Nadu

Chief Minister, Government of Punjab

Chief Minister, Government of Goa

Chief Minister, Government of West Bengal

Chief Minister, Government of Madhya Pradesh

Chief Minister, Government of Odisha

Chief Minister, Government of Jharkhand

Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India

Comptroller & Auditor General of India

Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs

Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance

Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law & Justice

Chairman, Public Accounts Committee

Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence

Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs

Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture

Lt Governor, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi

Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh

Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar

Chief Secretary, Government of Chattisgarh

Chief Secretary, Government of Goa

Chief Secretary, Government of Gujarat

Chief Secretary, Government of Haryana,

Chief Secretary, Government of Himachal Pradesh

Chief Secretary, Government of Jammu and Kashmir

Chief Secretary, Government of Jharkhand

Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka

Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala

Chief Secretary, Government of Madhya Pradesh

Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra

Chief Secretary, Government of Orissa

Chief Secretary, Government of Punjab

Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan

Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu

Chief Secretary, Government of Uttar Pradesh

Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand

Chief Secretary, Government of West Bengal

Chief Secretary, Government of Puducherry

Chief Secretary, Government of Arunachal Pradesh

Chief Secretary, Government of Assam

Chief Secretary, Government of Manipur

Chief Secretary, Government of Meghalaya

Chief Secretary, Government of Mizoram

Chief Secretary, Government of Nagaland

Chief Secretary, Government of Sikkim

Chief Secretary, Government of Tripura

Chief Secretary, Government of Andaman and Nicobar (UT)

Administrator, Government of Dadra and Nagar Haveli (UT)

Administrator, Government of Daman and Diu (UT)

Administrator, Government of Lakshadweep (UT)

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