Aadhaar: Edward Snowden slams govt over FIR against Tribune reporterhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/fir-against-tribune-reporter-for-aadhaar-breach-snowden-targets-indian-govt-5017112/

Aadhaar: Edward Snowden slams govt over FIR against Tribune reporter

Taking to Twitter, Snowden opined that the journalist should be given an award instead of being investigated by authorities.

Snowden on Aadhaar data breach
American whistleblower Edward Snowden said The Tribune and its reporter should be awarded for reporting on the Aadhaar breach (File Photo)

American whistleblower Edward Snowden on Tuesday targeted the Indian government for filing an FIR against The Tribune and its reporter Rachna Khaira for her report on an alleged breach in the Aadhaar database which can be accessed for a fee. Taking to Twitter, Snowden opined that the journalist should be given an award instead of being investigated by authorities. He added that the government, if it was concerned about justice, would reform its policy that “destroyed the privacy of a billion Indians.”

“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,” Snowden tweeted.

Snowden, a CIA employee who leaked classified information from the National Security Agency in 2013 on global surveillance, has been advocating privacy rights since then.

The deputy director of the UIDAI had filed an FIR with the Crime Branch’s cyber cell under IPC Sections 419 (punishment for cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document), as well Section 66 of the IT Act and Section 36/37 of the Aadhaar Act.

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This isn’t Snowden’s first reaction to the report. Two days ago, after the story broke, Snowden had called it the “natural tendency” of a government to “desire perfect records of private lives”. “History shows that no matter the laws, the result is abuse,” he had tweeted.

On Tuesday, the Editors Guild of India expressed concern over the FIR lodged, saying it “clearly meant to browbeat a journalist whose investigation on the matter was of great public interest.” Calling the UIDAI’s action unfair and unjustified, it added that the FIR was “a direct attack on the freedom of the press.”