12 November 2023 | Shortly after it has become known that hackers are offering the identity data of most Indians from the world’s largest digital identity database for sale, the European Parliament and Council have agreed to introduce something similar for Europeans, while Washington praises the Ukrainian version as an export model and Bill Gates wants to impose a biometric digital marker on every newborn child in Kenya for life.
In early October, IT security firm Resecurity announced that hackers had stolen the biometric identity data of over 800 million Indians from the government’s Aadhaar database and were offering it for sale. Resecurity acquired 400,000 data records and verified their authenticity. Those affected had not been informed of the theft by the unknown organisation whose data was stolen. In addition to the Aadhaar number, the data files are said to contain name, father’s name, address, passport number, age and gender.
According to Rescurity, potential buyers can use this data to plunder the online bank accounts of those affected and commit tax refund fraud at their expense.
The incident shows the huge problems for the protection of civil rights associated with such a database, whose data is used for every conceivable identification purpose. The assurances that the system is secure have proven to be grossly false, and not for the first time. The level of security is determined by those platforms with access to the data, which have the least expertise and the sloppiest data handling. In this case, the gateway for data theft is unknown. In other large cases this year, the gateway was suspected to have been the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) Covid test database linked to the Aadhaar numbers of those tested, and a database identifying prepaid phone customers, respectively.
If the same database is used by a large number of authorities and providers for all kinds of purposes, the risk of data loss increases a lot and also the damage for those affected. If the data used for biometric identification is stolen, too, i.e. in the case of Aadhaar fingerprints and iris scans, nothing stands in the way of comprehensive identity theft. Since biometric data readers are used everywhere to verify identity, criminals can obtain such data relatively easily. As you cannot change your biometric features like a password, this can be devastating for those affected.
The Indian government claims that registration in the database is voluntary. However, all kinds of government services require registration and so many private providers use the system that non-registration means exclusion from many services and government hand-outs. .
Europe’s Aadhaar is called Digital Identity Wallet
Completely unperturbed by these occurrences, which went virtually unreported in Europe, the EU Council and EU Parliament announced on 8 November that they had agreed on a plan to require all EU countries to offer digital identity wallets in a standardised format. Of course, as in India, their use is going to be completely voluntary for citizens and only to their benefit. Of course, this database is promised to be 100% secure and not to be used by the authorities for surveillance purposes.
However, no groundswell of dissatisfaction has ever been reported with the fact that citizens do not have access to such a state-controlled digital identity. In truth of the matter, this is being introduced in the interests of globally active US corporations such as Microsoft and Google and the surveillance agenda of Washington and the other governments involved. They want to set up a global system that inescapably links all people to the computer-monitored digital system. This will ultimately make it possible to monitor and control all activities of anybody anywhere.
This agenda is being driven by the World Economic Forum, the Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, with the support of Washington and international organisations controlled by Washington.
We either know of all these government-run identity databases in India, Europe and Africa, or we can can safely assume, that the big US IT companies are involved and that the NSA has access.
Ukraine’s Diia as an export model, Kenya as an importer
Ukraine also has a widely used state-run identity database called Diia, which was introduced with official US support. Like the Indian model, it is offered to other countries for imitation. The minister responsible for digitalisation, Mykhailo Fedorov, is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. The industry magazine Biometric Update reports:
“. Around 70 percent of its citizens now have the digital ID, which is used for storing biometric passports, tax IDs and driver’s licenses, accessing public services — and even sharing military intelligence: Users can send the geolocation of enemy tanks through the app. The Diia project, which was created in partnership with USAID, Eurasia Foundation and private sector partners, is also attracting interest in other countries which are learning from Ukraine’s experience. (…) In January this year, USAID announced it would support partner countries that are inspired by Diia.”
Fittingly, the Kenyan Post recently reported:
“The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has inked a deal with the Kenyan government to advise on the planned rollout of the Digital Identification Document (ID) dubbed Maisha Namba. Maisha Namba will be the third-generation ID with a unique number that will be assigned to every Kenyan at birth, and will be used from birth to death. “Our role is always as an adviser. We can connect the government to key technical experts and partners, but we’re very encouraged by what we see and by the President’s commitment,” the Foundation CEO Mark Suzman told a local paper. “We have a number of specific investment support on digital identity. We actually provide it to broader platforms.” The billionaire has met Ruto in a series of meetings since he came to power with most of the engagements shrouded in secrecy.”
The biometric digital identity databases are being exported to many other countries based on the Indian model. Thes countries include Nigeria, Athiopia and Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Thailand. It won’t be long before the US services will be able to monitor from their computers in Langley or Fort Meade almost anybody on earth (outside China). Those in China will be monitored, of course, even more closely by the Chinese authorities.
German version of this text
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