[PLUG] [ILUG-BOM][X-POST] Multipurpose identity card: will the platform be open source?

Easwar Hariharan meindian523 at gmail.com
Sat Jun 27 23:01:36 PDT 2009


On Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 5:58 PM, Nikhil Marathe<nsm.nikhil at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi all,
>
> Nandan Nilekani is to start the process of issuing every Indian
> citizen an identity card.
> But are the platform/readers and so on based on open source standards,
> such that you
> or I can verify that it doesn't have flaws or hidden backdoors which
> can be misused?
>
> I couldn't find anything on Google. Anyone has any ideas?
>
> Thanks,
> Nikhil


On Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 8:02 PM, Roshan<kubunturos at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 5:58 PM, Nikhil Marathe  wrote:
>
>> Nandan Nilekani is to start the process of issuing every Indian
>> citizen an identity card.
>
> A very ambitious project and one that rather would have more of IT
> coming into governance, hopefully not 'bound' to Microsoft Internet
> Explorer.  :P
>
>> But are the platform/readers and so on based on open source standards,
>> such that you
>> or I can verify that it doesn't have flaws or hidden backdoors which
>> can be misused?
>
>> I couldn't find anything on Google. Anyone has any ideas?
>
> Two ways to think about it.
> One:
> If it has to do more business, earn more money for stakeholders, get
> more "so-called" cheap labour, then it'll go the Microsoft Way! The
> three IT biggies have Microsoft everywhere! Don't they? XP runs
> irrespective of the needs and usage of the person using the computer.
> Perhaps, 'volume-licensing-costs' helps. ;)
>
> Two:
> If the costs incurred have to be less, have some amount of "voluntary"
> developers work on relatively lower costs, use Open Source Software
> (free software  :P, note the "f" ) and make 1 out of 2,00,000 people
> happy, it will be rather "open" software not bounded to a OS /
> browser.
>
> Just an opinion! I would love to see more opinions and/or comments on
> this! I'm waiting for more ideas to pour in ;)
> --
> Roshan Baladhanvi
>
On Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 6:29 PM, Krishnakant<krmane at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, 2009-06-27 at 17:58 +0530, Nikhil Marathe wrote:
>> Hi all,
>>
>> Nandan Nilekani is to start the process of issuing every Indian
>> citizen an identity card.
> hmm, so Infi is starting a new business on a large scale?
> nice way to solve the resession problem by doing money minting like
> this.
>
>> But are the platform/readers and so on based on open source standards,
>> such that you
>> or I can verify that it doesn't have flaws or hidden backdoors which
>> can be misused?
>>
> The issue is not open source.
>
> Even if they use it, they can still make the entire process closed and
> proprietory.
> Don't forget that infi *only* means business.  And what ever they do
> under "corporate Social Responsibilities " is some thing like the old
> Hindi phrase "nauso chuhe kha ke billi hagh ko chali ".
>
> happy hacking.
> Krishnakant.

Krishnakant:This is not being done by Infy,rather Nandan Nilekani has
resigned from Infy and taken up responsibilities in government.

BTW,nice to know I'm not the only one who's concerned about the
potential implications of the database et al being buggy Microsoft
software.I was wondering if I was becoming paranoid.

IMO,the main issue is whether the database holding the details of
name,address,fingerprints etc is fully secure.Apparently after
everything is said and done,NIC will take over administration of the
database.Considering that they can't even build websites compatible
with multiple browsers,and reports of Chinese cracking
Defence,Home,Intelligence agencies websites,emails et al are very
regular,I wonder what would be the fate if a terrorist organization
would crack this database and create an artificial ID and wreak havoc.

I think we need a national conversation in the FOSS space on
this,consequently I'm forwarding this to Pune LUG too.

Regards,
Easwar
Registered Linux user #442065



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