Does the KYC requirement of NIXI go against basic principles of internet?

The Indian government authorized the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) to perform Aadhaar authentication on a voluntary basis or carry out Know Your Customer (KYC) verification for those registering .in domains, according to a notification in The Gazette of India. NIXI is the government-appointed authority responsible for managing .in domains. Experts told MediaNama that although this authorisation could be seen as a necessity in view of the recent spurt in cyber attacks on India’s critical infrastructure, it may also go against the anonymous and decentralized nature of the internet. They also questioned how the KYC requirement to register .in domains will be enforced. “One can easily open other email ids, and start owning domain names under that,” said Sijo Kuruvilla George, Executive Director of Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF). What does the KYC requirement notification say? Besides voluntary Aadhaar authentication, NIXI is allowed to carry out paper-based or email-based KYC verification. “The customer is required to upload or mail the scanned self-attested copies of his documents with the NIXI and the verification of the validity of details submitted shall be done through mobile and email KYC,” read the notification signed by Jaideep Kumar Mishra, Joint Secretary of MeitY. As per the notification, users can provide scanned self-attested copies of documents such as: Bank passbook or post office passbook with photo Voter identity card Ration card Permanent Account Number Driving license Passport Identity Card Certificate of identity issued by a…

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