WikiLeaks Suggest CIA Might have Access to Aadhaar Data

WikiLeaks Suggest CIA Might have Access to Aadhaar Data

WikiLeaks Suggest CIA Might have Access to Aadhaar Data

ExpressLane masquerades as a software update, delivered in-person by Central Intelligence Agency technicians - but the documents make clear that the program itself will remain unchanged.

A fresh WikiLeaks publication of documents regarding the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - the USA agency tasked with surveillance and intelligence-gathering across the world - has raised concerns that the biometric database of Aadhaar could have not only been compromised but have been leaked in its entirety.

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The ExpressLane documents reportedly reveal the cyber operations the CIA conducts against liaison services - which includes, among others, the National Security Agency (NSA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). "ExpressLane v3.1.1, and supporting tools, was developed to support OTS/I2C in their efforts to verify that this data is also being shared with the Agency", reads the user manual to the tool, titled ExpressLane.

The Verge reports from Wikileaks, explaining that the exploit, which is called ExpressLane, has the ability to suck up biometric information from phones. Cross Match is a global supplier of devices used for biometric data capture. When an agent inserts a thumb drive to run the fake software update, ExpressLane automatically uploads the compressed and encrypted files it gathered.

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The whistleblower website said the CIA's Office of Technical Services had a biometric collection system with liaison services "with the expectation for sharing of the biometric takes collected on the systems". In other words, the CIA either discovered that other agencies were holding back biometric data they collected, or it wanted to safeguard against the possibility of this happening.

Cross Match Technologies also provides biometric solutions to the Unique Identification Authority of India, the statutory body for Aadhaar, leading to claims of possible data leakage. Cross Match Technologies hit the headlines in 2011 when it was reported that the United States military used a Cross Match product to identify Osama bin Laden during the assassination operation in Pakistan.

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