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News daily stands by journalist who reported Aadhar data breach story
09 January 2018, 01:56 | Bernice Figueroa
Reporter who exposed huge Indian data breach named in government criminal complaint
The report further mentioned that it just took Rs 500 and 10 minutes for the reporter to get an access to nearly every detail of any individual submitted to the UIDAI - including name, address, postal code (PIN), photo, phone number and email. "Hence, an FIR needs to be filed at the cyber cell for the said violation", the complainant added in the FIR.
Journalists in India have increasingly become targets of online smear campaigns, with prosecutorial actions being used to gag journalists who are overly critical of the government, the group said. "FIR is against unknown entities", Prasad tweeted.
Police sources clarified on Sunday night that those named in the complaint were not being seen as accused but would be questioned.
The filing of an FIR by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) against a reporter of The Tribune newspaper, for reporting an alleged breach in the Aadhaar database, triggered a political firestorm with the government saying it was committed to press freedom and the Opposition accusing it of "fascism".
"But, all those who have been there in the chain of incident in which the crime has been committed, have to be mentioned, including unknowns in the FIR, so that police can make proper investigation in the interest of justice", the statement said. "I've suggested to the UIDAI to request Tribune & its journalist to give all assistance to the police in investigating real offenders", he said.
Calling UIDAI's action unfair and unjustified, the JNEG President, A.K Sawhney called the FIR "a direct attack on the freedom of the press". We're going to write to @thetribunechd & @rachnakhaira to give all assistance to investigate and nab the real culprits.
The Tribune editor-in-chief Harish Khare on Monday released the reply sent to a questionnaire the UIDAI had issued to the newspaper on January 6.
In her report, published on January 3, Khaira depicted how anonymous sellers over WhatsApp were allegedly providing Aadhaar details for a fee. The Congress also demanded unilateral withdrawal of the FIR against Tribune and its employees by UIDAI. "You have systematic assaults taking place on journalists".
Tewari said the creative community in India had sensed the "repression" as early as in September 2014 through the award wapasi movement.
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