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Indian’s Aadhaar Card Data Stolen by CIA: WikiLeaks, Officials say No

aadhar data wikileaks

WikiLeaks reports suggest that Aadhaar data is under the spies of CIA. On Thursday, WikiLeaks Claims that CIA is using tools developed by United States (US) Cross Match Technologies for cyber spying Aadhaar data. However, the reports were denied by the officials in India. Through the Twitter Account Wikileaks has stated about the CIA’s Spying on Indian’s Aadhar Data.

WikiLeaks is the non-profitable International organization that leaks secret documents, news leaks and classified media provided by unknown sources. WikiLeaks publishes secret documents of the project ExpressLane of CIA on Thursday. These documents show one of the cyber activities the CIA conducts against the liaison services which include National Security Agency (NSA), Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Cross Match Technologies is a US-based company specialized in Biometric software that provides various biometric solutions to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). UIDAI is mandated to provide 12 digit unique numbers called Aadhaar to all Indians.

Some officials from CIA, “The reports do not have any basis in fact. Aadhaar data is safely encrypted and is not accessible to any other agency”. They also added Cross Match is a global supplier of devices used for capturing biometric data. But the data collected cannot be transmitted to any company as vendors collect data in an encrypted that is transferred to Aadhaar services.

Wikipedia’s Wikitribune for standards-based professional journalism

WikiLeaks suggests that Office for Technical Services (OTS), a branch with in CIA uses ExpressLane, a tool devised by Cross Match Technologies for online spying. ExpressLane is installed and run with the cover of upgrading the biometric software by OTS agents that visit the Liaison sites. The officers overseeing this procedure will remain unsuspicious, as the data exfiltration disguises behind a Windows installation splash screen.

Linking to an article on Cross Match’s Indian operations with its partner Smart Identity Devices Pvt Ltd which has enrolled 1.2 million Indian citizens on the Aadhaar database, WikiLeaks tweeted on Friday.

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Government May Make Aadhaar Compulsory for Filing Under Companies Act

Companies act

Modi Government planned to make Aadhaar card mandatory for the regulatory filings under the Co Act (Companies Act).

As there 9 lakh existing companies currently in our country and the decision came up right when the authorities are trying to stop remove the shell firms. The rest of the companies have to submit the filings electrically through the official MCA21 portal.

Now The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) plans to sync the Aadhaar card details to avail the MCA21 services. The officials have already notified the active stakeholders to update their details with their respective Aadhaar numbers as soon as possible. They plan to add not only the Aadhaar details but also the PAN details for filings under the Companies Act.

Also Read Aadhaar Mandatory for Filing ITR to Stop Evasion: Arun Jaitley

The notice stated that after the update gets completed, the authentication would entirely base on the Aadhaar identification.

A government official said that by linking the Aadhaar cards, we could easily identify them, and there won’t be any false identities. The private stakeholder must provide DIN(Director Identification Number) holders/ Directors/Key Managerial Personnel must obtain the Aadhaar for the process.

Chartered Accountants professionals, company secretaries, and cost accountants are also requested to attain the Aadhaar as early as they can. The method is applicable if that particular individual is an employee or still in practice.

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Microsoft Introduces Skype Lite App for Android in India

skype lite app

The latest technologies are specially made for mid and low range smartphones. In India, there are many affordable smartphones that can handle the majority of apps and games well. There are some low range smartphones still running on slower data connection speed which is impossible to run many apps.

Facebook Lite runs on slow data connection which is launched in 2015 and now Microsoft- owned Skype has also joined by introducing Skype Lite which is cleaner, simpler and lighter version of its original telephony services.

Skype Lets You Make Calls without an Account and More Easier than Before

Skype Lite is exclusively launched for India on 22nd February. It is 13mb in size and includes all services like texting, video calling, voice calling and Skype bots.

Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella announced Skype Lite for India at Microsoft’s Future Decoded Conference in Mumbai. It has been designed as the fastest and smallest app which consumes less data, for users in India.

“Skype Lite is designed to deliver a great Skype performance in challenging network conditions, use less data, less power and enable more users to take advantage of free Skype to Skype calls. It is available in seven local languages: Gujarati, Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu,” mentioned in a Blog post.

Microsoft is Working on Messaging app called Skype Teams

Skype Lite screens

The company has announced about the amalgamation of Aadhaar number on the app from June 2017. This helps in verifying the identity of unknown callers where identification verification is required, including job interview, goods, and property sale.

Skype Lite featured tracking data usage that tells the user about how much data was used and also categorized the internet usage into two sections—the amount of mobile data or wifi used while using the Skype Lite app.

Microsoft has using the Artificial Intelligence-based algorithm to differentiate between important and junk messages. It segregates all messages into three categories: Normal text messages, Skype Messages, and Promotional texts.

It also allows the user to share multimedia files without downloading them to the device. Microsoft introduces the dark theme for this app for users to work in the night without straining the eyes. You can now download the Skype Lite for Android on the Google Play store.

New Passport Rules Announced: Now DOB is not mandatory for Passport Proof

DOB not mandatory for Passport

The government of India had made a significant change in the Passport rules yesterday. It had announced that the mandatory requirement of Date of Birth Certificate(DOB) as Passport proof was eliminated and now they included Aadhar card and e-Aadhar DOB as evidence of passport.

Under the new Passport rules, the Government also mentioned that Sadhus and Sanyasis will now allow mentioning names of their spiritual gurus instead of biological parents. The new rules were announced by the Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh, also provides a facility for government servants, who are not able to get “no Objection Certificate” from their respective ministries/departments.

To simply and free-up the process, the ministry has taken some steps in the dominion of passport policy which is expected to help the citizens of India applying for a passport, said Singh.

Central Government Hikes 2% DA for Central Govt Employees and Pensioners

Generally while filling the application, DOB Proof is asking, and now it has been decided that all applicants of passports can submit any one of the documents like transfer/school leaving/matriculation certificate, PAN Card, Aadhar Card/E-Aadhar having the DOB of the applicant, Driving license and Election Photo Identity Card.

According to the existing legislative provisions of the Passport rules, 1980, all the applicants born on or after January 26, 1989, had to submit the DOB certificate as a proof of passport. Considering the Sadhus/Sanyasis request that they should be allowed to write the names of their gurus instead of their natural parents, Singh said that they have to give at least one public document such as EPIC, PAN card, Aadhar Card, etc. wherein the name of the guru has been registered.

Coming to the Government employees, if any representative is facing trouble to get the ID certificate/No Objection certificate from their manager and propose to get the passport on an urgent basis, now they can get the passport by submitting a self-declaration that he/she was applying for an ordinary passport.

TRAI Suggests Government to Allow Free Rural Internet and Removal of Convenience Fees on Digital Payments to Boost Cashless Economy

Under the new rules, a total number of annexes prescribed in the Passport rue, 1980, has been got down to 9 from the current 15 and all the extensions that are required to be given by the applicants would be self-declaration on plain paper.

Singh also said the ministry was probing an experimental project under which the head post offices could be used to provide passport services.Singh also mentioned that currently there were 89 passport Seva centers apart from 38 passport offices and seven passport offices in the country.

Indian Government to Link All Savings Accounts to Aadhar for making Cashless Transactions

aadhar linking for digital transactions

Central Government of India has decided to link all savings accounts with the Aadhar number to boost digital transactions and fulfill the dream of PM Narendra Modi to make India as a cashless economy. Reports said that already Modi has given a green signal to the proposal and the people those who don’t have smartphones will get benefits through this scheme.

However, in a major decision that will give a push to Cashless economy at ground level, Government has decided to link all the savings accounts to the Aadhar card numbers for promoting digital transactions, especially at marketing points. Making India as cashless economy and increasing the use of digital payments is the dream of Narendra Modi and now fulfil his wish, the Government has planned this move.

Rs 10 for Digital Transactions: Government is Looking to Provide Inducements to Boost Cashless Digital Payments

Moreover, it will be useful for 30 crore non-smartphone users who are unable to make digital transactions and depend on liquid cash.

Government’s bold move on the demonetization of currency threw the people in deep troubles and still we are finding long queues at ATMS and Banks to get cash from their accounts. Even it has created a huge effect on small scale business persons and middle class people.

Already PM Narendra Modi has approved the plan and asked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar to carry out the process.

Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “With more links to Aadhar numbers, the more digital transactions we can see in future. Reviewing the latest reports, around 112 crore estimated bank accounts across the country, only around 40 crores only linked to Aadhar. This needs to be ramped up pretty fast.”

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Specifying the advantages with this move, the sources said, even the non-smartphone users will also do cashless transactions and the required thing is devices that support Aadhar and biometric at retail points. If he/she wants to make a payment without a phone, just they need to login to their account through Aadhar bio-metric link and make the transaction.

The Reserve Bank of India, RBI has in the process of setting up the Aadhar-enabled point of sale machines to the retail shops.