Aadhaar a threat to national security: Subramanian Swamy
31 October 2017
Maverick Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy has said he believes that the design of the Aadhaar identification system exposes core data to ''American intelligence agencies'', and expressed consternation that the government was continuing with the scheme.
Speaking to Mirror Now on the controversies around the linking of bank accounts, tax accounts and mobile numbers to Aadhaar, Swamy said he was not against linking them per se, but that the Aadhaar infrastructure was not suited for the purpose.
Swamy also took to Twitter to call Aadhaar a "threat to national security".
"I am writing a letter soon to PM detailing how compulsory Aadhaar is a threat to our national security. SC will, I am sure, strike it down," Swamy said in a Twitter post.
He said the decision to go with an American company to build some of the core software used in the system made it vulnerable to misuse by American intelligence agencies.
''I am opposing it not on the grounds of technology, but on the grounds that security is impossible the way we've gone about it,'' Swamy said.
''We've literally sold our interests ... we've risked our interests rather, by going to other people. The entire biological profile of Indian individuals will be available via computers to the Americans,'' he added.
The Rajya Sabha MP's Tweet came a day after the Supreme Court asked the Centre to respond to a petition challenging the proposed linking of mobile phones with Aadhaar.
The top court also said its constitution bench will start hearing a clutch of petitions challenging the government's move to make Aadhaar card a must for various services (See: Constitution bench formed to hear all pleas against Aadhaar).
Swamy is not the first to make the allegations, which stemmed from revelations made by Wikileaks about the CIA's links to an American firm that developed some core software used in the Aadhaar project.
''If you can have a foolproof system by which all this can be linked, I would welcome it. But the way we gave the software to black-listed American company (for development) ... the biggest beneficiaries of this Aadhaar and all this linking up and, earlier on, Mr Nilekani's mad ideas, they are all favourable to the American intelligence interests,'' Swamy said.
He also expressed consternation that the government seemed determined to go ahead with the scheme created under the previous, Congress-led government.
''If the government is determined, like they were in GST despite my warnings... If the government is determined to do something despite the best advice, then what can I do,'' he said.
On the implementation of the revolutionary Goods and Services Tax, Swamy said, ''I wouldn't blame the (economic) slowdown on GST, but I certainly think GST has harassed a lot of people. I had written to the Prime Minister we should do it after 2019, but Mr Jaitley was in no mood (to do so).''