A report by WikiLeaks hinted that United States’ top intelligence agency, the CIA has technology to access the biometric data through veiled operations conducted across the world. The office of technical services which is a branch within the CIA has a biometric collection system. It liaison services around the world with anticipation for sharing of the biometric takes gathered on the systems, said the WikiLeaks.
The investigative agency termed the practice as ‘ExpressLane project of the CIA’. As per the report, ExpressLane is a secret information gathering tool that is used by CIA to secretly fetch data from such systems provided to liaison services. It is fixed and run with the cover of upgrading the biometric software by OTS agents that visit the liaison sites. Liaison officers supervising this process will remain naive, as the data exfiltration masked behind a Windows installation splash screen.
The report further added that the main components of the OTS system are based on products from Cross Match. It is a US company specializes in biometric software for law enforcement and the Intelligence Community.
Some reports also suggest that Cross Match is the same company that initially supplied biometric devices certified by UIDAI for Aadhaar program. Cross Match with its Indian partner Smart Identity Devices has enrolled 1.2 million Indian citizens on the Aadhaar database.
Cross Match had received Certificate of Approval from the Indian government in 2011. It was said that approval was issued after completion of all tests required to show compliance with the quality needed for UIDAI. However, WikiLeaks’ new revelations suggest that, the CIA has the tools and technology to access Aadhaar data.
“Have CIA spies already stolen India’s national ID card database?” WikiLeaks on Friday tweeted. However, Indian government officials said that it was not a WikiLeaks “leak” but a report by a website that has no basis.