April 2013 Bulletin
The Centre for Internet & Society (CIS) welcomes you to the fourth issue of its newsletter for the year 2013. In this issue we bring you an overview of our research programs, updates of events organised by us, events we participated in, news and media coverage, and videos of some of our recent events.
Celebrating 5 Years of CIS
We at the Centre for Internet and Society celebrate 5 years of existence with an exhibition showcasing our work and accomplishments over this time. The exhibition will be held concurrently at both our Bangalore and Delhi offices from May 20 to 24, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Google Policy Fellowship
CIS is inviting applications for the Google Policy Fellowship programme. Google is providing a USD 7,500 stipend to the India fellow who will be selected by July 1, 2013. Fellowship focus areas include Access to Knowledge, Openness in India, Freedom of Expression, Privacy, and Telecom Send in your applications for the position by June 15, 2013.
CIS invites applications for the posts of Developer (NVDA Screen Reader Project), and Programme Officer (Internet Governance). To apply send your resume to [email protected] and [email protected]. CIS also invites applications for the post of Programme Officer (Access to Knowledge, Pilot Projects). To apply for this position send your resume to [email protected].
CIS is doing two projects in partnership with the Hans Foundation. One is to create a national resource kit of state-wise laws, policies and programmes on issues relating to persons with disabilities in India and another is for developing a screen reader and text-to- speech synthesizer for Indian languages. CIS is also working with the World Blind Union and many other organisations to develop a Treaty for the Visually Impaired helped by the WIPO:
National Resource Kit for Persons with Disabilities
Anandhi Viswanathan from CIS and Manojna Yeluri from the Centre for Law and Policy Research are working in this project. Draft chapters have been published. Feedback and comments are invited from readers for the chapters on Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir and Rajasthan:
- The Himachal Pradesh Chapter (by Anandhi Viswanathan, April 30, 2013).
- Goa Chapter (by Anandhi Viswanathan, April 30, 2013).
- The Jammu & Kashmir Chapter (by Anandhi Viswanathan, April 30, 2013).
- The Rajasthan Chapter (by Manojna Yeluri, April 30, 2013).
Note: All of these are early drafts and will be reviewed and updated.
- Girls in ICT Day (April 25, 2013, Mitra Jyothi Auditorium, HSR Layout, Bangalore). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja gave a talk on Social Media and Kannada Language for Women with Disabilities. Sara Morais wrote an event report.
- Global Accessibility Awareness Day (May 9, 2013, TERI, Southern Regional Centre, Domlur, Bangalore).
- CIS Gets ITU-D Sector Membership: CIS has become a sector member of ITU-D.
The Wikimedia Foundation awarded CIS a two year grant of INR 26,000,000 to support and develop the growth of Indic language communities and projects by community collaborations and partnerships. This is being carried out by the Access to Knowledge team based in Delhi. CIS is also doing a project (Pervasive Technologies) on examining the relationship between production of pervasive technologies and intellectual property. CIS also promotes openness including open government data, open standards, open access, and free/libre/open source software through its Openness programme.
Beginning from September 1, 2012, Wikimedia Foundation awarded CIS a two-year grant of INR 26,000,000 to support and develop free knowledge in India. The A2K team consists of four members based in Delhi: T. Vishnu Vardhan, Nitika Tandon and Subhashish Panigrahi, and one team member Dr. U.B. Pavanaja who is working from Bangalore office. Noopur Raval, Programme Officer has left the organisation. April 24, 2013 was her last working day.
Indic Wikipedia Visualisation Project
- Indian WikiWomen celebrate Women’s History Month (by Netha Hussain, April 29, 2013).
- Analysis of Konkani Wikipedia: Facts & Challenges (by Nitika Tandon, April 30, 2013).
- Odia Wikipedia: Needs Assessment (by Subhashish Panigrahi, April 30, 2013).
- Kannada Wikipedia Workshop (April 29, 2013, Govinda Pai Research Centre, MGM College Udupi). Dr. U.B. Pavanaja led the workshop and gave a talk on Kannada Wikipedia.
The following events were organised in the month of March but reports were written during the month of April. Vishnu Vardhan and Subhashish Panigrahi held meetings with wikipedians:
- Kolkata Wiki Community Meetup (organised by CIS and Kolkata Wiki Community, March 14, 2013).
- Odia Wikipedia - Cuttack Community Meetup (organised by CIS and Odia Wiki Community, Cuttack, March 16, 2013).
- Odia Wikipedia – Bhubaneswar Community Meetup (organised by CIS and Odia Wiki Community, Bhubaneswar, March 17, 2013).
The following event was organised in the month of April. We will be publishing the report soon:
- Telugu Wiki Mahotsavam 2013 (organised by Telugu Wikipedia Community and CIS, Hyderabad, April 9 – 11, 2013). Vishnu Vardhan was one of the trainers at the Wikipedia Academy at Centre for Good Governance on April 9, 2013. Vishnu Vardhan spoke about the Access to Knowledge work in one of the sessions of Wikimedia Meeting with Media Heads on April 10, 2013. Vishnu Vardhan gave a talk on A2K’s plans for the growth of Telegu Wikipedia in 2013-14 at the Telegu Wikipedia general meeting on April 11, 2013. Vishnu Vardhan also gave a talk about Access to Knowledge in the digital era at the Wiki Chaitanya Vedika on April 11, 2013.
Other Access to Knowledge Updates
- CIS Intervention on the Treaty for the Visually Impaired at SCCR/SS/GE/2/13 (Geneva, April 18 – 20, 2013). Pranesh Prakash participated in the session and spoke about the rights of the visually impaired.
The Internet Governance programme conducts research around the various social, technical, and political underpinnings of global and national Internet governance, and includes online privacy, freedom of speech, and Internet governance mechanisms and processes. Currently, CIS is doing a project with Privacy International, London to facilitate research and events around surveillance, and freedom of speech and expression.
- IT (Amendment) Act, 2008, 69A Rules: Draft and Final Version Comparison (by Jadine Lannon, April 27, 2013).
- Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, 419A Rules and IT (Amendment) Act, 2008, 69 Rules (by Jadine Lannon, April 28, 2013).
- IT (Amendment) Act, 2008, 69 Rules: Draft and Final Version Comparison (by Jadine Lannon, April 30, 2013).
- IT (Amendment) Act, 2008, 69B Rules: Draft and Final Version Comparison (by Jadine Lannon, April 30, 2013).
The below rules were published recently:
- Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Interception, Monitoring and Decryption of Information) Rules, 2009
- Information Technology (Procedure and safeguard for Monitoring and Collecting Traffic Data or Information) Rules, 2009
- Rules Under Section 419A of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885
- Off the Record (by Nishant Shah, Indian Express, April 6, 2013).
- India´s ´Big Brother´: The Central Monitoring System (CMS) (by Maria Xynou, April 8, 2013).
Maria Xynou gives an overview of the discussions and recommendations from the privacy round tables held in Delhi and Bangalore:
- A Privacy Round Table in Delhi (organized by CIS and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, FICCI Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi, April 3, 2013).
- A Privacy Round Table in Bangalore (organized by CIS and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Jayamahal Palace, Jayamahal Road, Bangalore, April 20, 2013).
- 2nd Expert Committee meeting on draft 'Human DNA Profiling Bill 2012': The Department of Biotechnology has constituted an Expert Committee to discuss various issues of this Bill in detail. Sunil Abraham has been nominated as one of the members of this Committee. A meeting of this Expert Committee has been scheduled for May 13, 2013 under the Chairmanship of Dr. T. S. Rao, Adviser, DBT.
- Chinmayi Arun is one of the international experts supporting the Internet & Jurisdiction project, a global multi-stakeholder dialogue process.
- A Privacy Round Table in Chennai (co-organised with Data Security Council of India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Residency Towers, Sir Thyagaraja Road, T Nagar, Chennai, May 18, 10.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.).
- Consilience – 2013 (National Law School of India University, Bangalore, May 26 – 27, 2013).
Other Event Hosted
- Or-bits.com — A Talk by Marialaura Ghidini (CIS, Bangalore, April 19, 2013). Marialaura Ghidini gave a talk abou the creation and activities of or-bits.com, a web-based curatorial platform that she founded in 2009.
News and Media
- Clarify and define terms in IT rules, panel tells govt. (by Prashant Jha, Hindu, April 1, 2013).
- India takes its first serious step toward privacy regulation – but it may be misguided (Privacy Surgeon, April 9, 2013).
- Regulating Social Media: Unrealistic, Impossible, Necessary? (NDTV, April 11, 2013). Pranesh Prakash participated in a discussion on social media aired on NDTV.
- Social media may influence 160 LS seats in 2014 (by Zia Haq, Hindustan Times, April 12, 2013).
- Vote: Will Social Media Impact the Election? (by R. Jai Krishna, Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2013).
- Untangling the web of India's 'ungovernable' Net (Deutsche Welle, April 15, 2013).
- CIS in GNI Annual Report (April 25, 2013). CIS gets mentioned in GNI Annual Report. Sunil Abraham is quoted in it.
- Is free speech an Indian value? (by Satarupa Sen Bhattacharya, India Together, April 27, 2013).
CIS in partnership with the Ford Foundation is executing a project on Internet Access. It covers the history of the internet, technologies involved, principle and values of internet access, broadband market and universal access and will touch upon various polices and regulations which has an impact on internet access and bodies and mechanism which are responsible for formulation policies related to internet access. The blog posts and modules will be published in a new website: www.internet-institute.in.
We are hosting an “Institute on Internet and Society” with the support of Ford Foundation India, which is to be held from June 8, 2013 to June 14, 2013. Call for registration and relevant details have been announced.
The following units have been published:
- Internet Infrastructure (by Srividya Vaidyanathan, April 30, 2013).
- Internet Service Provider – Introduction (by Srividya Vaidyanathan, April 30, 2013).
CIS is involved in promoting access and accessibility of telecommunications services and resources and has provided inputs to ongoing policy discussions and consultation papers published by TRAI. It has prepared reports on unlicensed spectrum and accessibility of mobile phones for persons with disabilities and also works with the USOF to include funding projects for persons with disabilities in its mandate:
- Prioritizing Communications & Energy (by Shyam Ponappa, Business Standard and Organizing India Blogspot, April 4, 2013).
- From Open Citizen Radio Networks to the Race for .RADIO gTLD (by Sharath Chandra Ram, April 30, 2013).
- Broadband Policy Course (organised by Lirne Asia, Bangalore, April 5 – 6, 2013). Nirmita Narasimhan and Snehashish Ghosh attended the course.
The Centre for Internet and Society is a non-profit research organization that works on policy issues relating to freedom of expression, privacy, accessibility for persons with disabilities, access to knowledge and IPR reform, and openness (including open government, FOSS, open standards, etc.), and engages in academic research on digital natives and digital humanities.
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Request for Collaboration
We invite researchers, practitioners, and theoreticians, both organisationally and as individuals, to collaboratively engage with Internet and society and improve our understanding of this new field. To discuss the research collaborations, write to Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, at [email protected] or Nishant Shah, Director – Research, at [email protected]
CIS is grateful to its donors, Wikimedia Foundation, Ford Foundation, Privacy International, UK, Hans Foundation and the Kusuma Trust which was founded by Anurag Dikshit and Soma Pujari, philanthropists of Indian origin, for its core funding and support for most of its projects.