The Delhi Police Crime Branch has registered an FIR against Skoch group chairman Sameer Kochhar, allegedly for spreading rumours on the internet about the vulnerability of the Aadhaar system. Police said a case has been registered at the Cyber Cell of the Crime Branch against Kochhar for allegedly writing a “misleading” article targeting Aadhaar. His actions, the complaint states, violate the Aadhaar Act. A police source said the FIR has been registered manually as the term ‘Aadhaar Act’ is not updated in their system yet. Police said they received a complaint from an official of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
JCP (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said, “We have registered a case based on a complaint from Yashwant Kumar of UIDAI.” Police sources said Kochhar, who has written several books, including ModiNomics, is yet to be contacted. In an article published on inclusion.skoch.in on February 11, Kochhar had written that he was shocked when he was told that Aadhaar can be hacked as it has very poor security. “Apparently, when you use an Aadhaar enabled front-end application, your biometric is scanned and stored on the device along with your Aadhaar number,” he wrote.
Kochhar went on to state that such a number should be heavily encrypted, which it is not. “In the name of security, it has an additional time-stamp and location added to this number. It takes an easy hack to change this information and anybody can become you and transact on your behalf,” he wrote in the article. A video has also been posted on the issue.
In an email, Kochhar said he has heard about the FIR only through news reports and no one has approached him. He said he does not have a copy of the FIR. Asked if he felt he was being targeted for pointing out alleged loopholes in the Aadhaar system, he added, “I have no evidence of being targeted. I am sure they (UIDAI) must be working hard to secure the loopholes pointed out.” He added that he had kept UIDAI “abreast” about his concerns. Asked if he ever received any input, he said, “Responses from them are awaited.”
The headline of Kochhar’s article stated: “Is a deep state at work to steal digital India?” Asked to elaborate on the title, he said, “I have nothing more to say on this currently.”