FIR lodged over reporting of alleged Aadhaar data breach

Vastavam web: Amid outrage on the FIR lodged over the reporting of alleged Aadhaar data breach, the government today said it has been filed against “unknown” accused while asserting its commitment to the freedom of the press.A day after the Delhi Police confirmed registering of an FIR on January 5, based on a complaint by Aadhaar-issuing body UIDAI, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad took to Twitter to clarify the government’s position on the issue.Though the complaint by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) named four persons, including the Chandigarh -based daily The Tribune’s reporter who had filed the story on alleged breach in Aadhaar database, Prasad said the FIR was against “unknown”.

“I’ve suggested UIDAI to request Tribune and its journalist to give all assistance to police in investigating real offenders,” he said.”We’re going to write to @thetribunechd and @rachnakhaira to give all assistance to investigate to nab the real culprits. We also appreciate if Tribune and its journalist have any constructive suggestion to offer,” the UIDAI said in a tweet.After filing the police complaint, the UIDAI had, in an earlier statement, said: “This is a case in which even though there was no breach of Aadhaar biometric database, because UIDAI takes every criminal violation seriously, it is for the act of unauthorised access, criminal proceedings have been initiated.”

The FIR had attracted strong criticism from various media organisations and bodies, including The Editors Guild of India which sought withdrawal of the case. The Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune, Harish Khare, had said in a statement yesterday that “the authorities have misconceived an honest journalistic enterprise and have proceeded to institute criminal proceedings against the whistleblower”.