Edward Snowden hails scribe over Aadhar data leak report

American whistleblower Edward Snowden has come in support of an Indian journalist, who is being investigated for a report on the controversial  Aadhaar data breach. 

Snowden, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee, who is currently in exile in Russia said that instead of prosecuting the journalist, the government of India should penalize the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for the alleged leak.

"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 posted on Twitter. 

The Delhi Police has registered an "open-ended" First Information Report (FIR) against  the "The Tribune" reporter, Miss Rachna Khaira, who wrote an article on  how she was able to buy citizens' personal details for just 500 rupees ($8; £6), after a UIDAI file a complaint against her. 

"It is the natural tendency of government to desire perfect records of private lives. History shows that no matter the laws, the result is abuse," Snowden. 

The editor of The Tribune newspaper, has defended her saying it had been published "in response to a very genuine concern among the citizens on a matter of great public interest".

However, the central government has clarrified to this ste by saying that they are fully committed  to the freedom of press, and said they hope that the newspaper and its reporter will cooperate with them in investigating the purported data breach.

"The government is fully committed to freedom of press as well as to maintaining security and sanctity of Aadhaar for India's development... I've suggested UIDAI to request Tribune and its journalist to give all assistance to police in investigating real offenders," IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tweeted.


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