American whistleblower Edward Snowden today said the Indian journalist, whose report on alleged Aadhaar data breach has led to lodging of an FIR, merits an award and not a government probe for the work.
Snowden, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee who blew the lid off US surveillance on phone and internet communications, also said the Indian government should reform its policy to safeguard privacy of its citizens.
"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.
Aadhaar is a 12 digit unique-identity number issued to all Indian residents based on their biometric and demographic data. The data is collected by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), a statutory authority.
"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, 34, living in asylum in Russia since 2013, tweeted in context of the Aadhaar issue.
The Indian government yesterday said the FIR was filed against "unknown" accused and stressed that it was committed to "freedom of press" as well as to "maintaining security & sanctity of #Aadhaar".
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